Written Answers. - Case of Prisoner.

Mary Wallace

Question:

118 Miss M. Wallace asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has examined the case of a prisoner (details supplied); his views on whether the details of the case raise sufficient questions for it to merit serious attention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16916/96]

I am aware of the case in question which has been raised on several occasions with the British authorities through the Anglo-Irish Secretariat, including with regard to the circumstances of the conviction. The British authorities have responded that, as this case has been through the full judicial process of trial and appeal, the only course which now seems open is to ask the Secretary of State to exercise his statutory power to refer the case back to the court of appeal. They note that the Secretary of State would expect to be satisfied that there is some new evidence or some other consideration of substance which had not previously been before the courts and which appears to cast doubt on the safety of the conviction. I understand that legal representatives acting on behalf of the individual in question are pursuing inquiries which they hope may provide the necessary material for a successful petition to the Secretary of State. I can assure you that my Department will continue to monitor this case.