Justice For The Craigavon Two -Fight This Miscarriage of Justice
By now the gross miscarriage of justice visited upon two men, John-Paul Wooton (who when arrested was merely 17 years of age) and Brendan McConville should be reverberating around the world. Both were hastily arrested following the shooting of a member of the local paramilitary police force, the PSNI/RUC. Both were held illegally over the maximum limit of time of detention for questioning that the British government supposedly legislates for. Both men, during detention following arrest, at their trial and post-conviction, that saw them both imprisoned for life, have consistently denied any involvement in the ‘crime’ they have been accused of. Add into the mix the significant involvement of the shady operatives of the British intelligence agencies, flawed electronic surveillance and highly dubious witnesses and we have all the ingredients of yet another ‘fitting up’ of Irish people by the British establishment seeking a hasty arrest and conviction for their satisfaction.
As we have seen in the not too distant past, the British judiciary who along with the Legislature and Executive constitute ‘Government’ in the so-called Liberal Democratic model, although supposedly independent of each other, they are very far from it, not least their use of Diplock political trials. A casual glance at Hansard, where one can read Lord Denning’s legal opinion regarding overturning clear miscarriages of justices, in the following quote he is referring to the Birmingham Six:
“Just consider the course of events if this action is allowed to proceed to trial. If the six men fail it will mean much time and money will have been expended to no good purpose. If the six men win, it will mean that the police are guilty of perjury, that they are guilty of violence and threats, that the confessions were invented and improperly admitted in evidence and the convictions were erroneous.
“This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say that it cannot be right that these actions should go any further.”
This attitude is still clearly prevalent within the British judiciary and structurally the British government, which in short means that it is better to have innocent people imprisoned than for the public to become aware of miscarriages of justice. So much for Liberal-Democracy’s supposed in built ‘checks and balances!’
Perhaps the best resource for learning more about the gross miscarriage of justice against young John-Paul Wooton and Brendan Mcconville is the excellent campaigning website Justice for the Craigavon Two which has excellent details regarding the entire case, the PSNI/RUC abuses, the deviant involvement of British intelligence agencies, the farce of a trial and the latest in the campaign to free these two innocent men. I have included an article from the website in the form of a letter from The Craigavon Two, which everyone should read closely and please share this appeal from two innocent men:
We Are Innocent!
On the 30th of March 2012 we, Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton, were convicted, and sentenced to spend the rest of our lives in prison, for the fatal shooting of Constable Steven Carroll in Craigavon on the 9th of March 2010.
While We fully understanding and empathise with the grief of the Carroll family and with no desire to exacerbate that grief, we wish to take this opportunity to state publicly that we have been convicted of something that we had nothing to do with, we are innocent and we do not believe that we received a fair hearing at our trial under a diplock court.
Further to this we also believe that Justice Girvan erred in his judgement of the information presented and convicted us more on the emotional and political furore created by the case than on the evidence presented. For this reason we have instructed our legal teams to appeal our convictions.
This appeal will centre on the following pieces of evidential information that were never fully dealt with by Justice Girvan, they are;
- The prosecutions’ key witness, witness M, despite having a prescribed impairment of his sight, claimed that he seen Brendan Mc Conville at a distance that would be medical impossible,
- It took witness M almost a year to come forward with this information and since that date he has been given anonymity and provided for in protective custody.
- Witness M’s eye-witness account described Brendan as wearing a coat of a different style and colour from that presented by the prosecution,
- This coat, recovered within hours of the shooting, was dry yet the weather conditions at the time were rainy,
- The forensic examination of this coat and the fire-arm recovered after the shooting did not match,
- Although multiple sources of DNA were found on the coat only Brendans’ were followed up on,
- A tracking device that had allegedly been planted on John Paul’s car by MI5 and was used as evidence to place us at the scene of the shooting, went ‘missing’ for a period of time, only to be returned in an altered state and “with data missing”,
- Although the assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition used in the shooting were recovered no forensic link was made with either of us.
In short a case that placed us at the scene and attributed any role to us was never made, let alone proven. Rather, because the PSNI/MI5 were under so much pressure to obtain a conviction, evidence was constructed and altered to ‘fit the case’ and not examined as pieces of information that could prove or disprove our innocence.
Hopefully this miscarriage of justice can be over turned at our appeal and this nightmare of suffering for us and our families ended. However, after the experience we have already had we do not have a great deal of confidence in the criminal justice system, hence, we are asking you, the public, to follow the course of our appeal and to see for yourself the manner in which information is dealt with and how ‘justice’ is being administered in your name. Let’s not wait 15 – 20 years to deal with a miscarriage of justice, let us do so now,
Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton.
Maghaberry Jail Co. Antrim
Please share, visit the campaign website and ask what you can do to help! You could be next!