How can you allow a provisional IRA murderer, released prematurely under the Good Friday agreement, to murder a taxi driver in Belfast, never be annulled or charged with political expediency, so that he can then be arrested and convicted of attempted murder in the Republic of Ireland? The Sentencs Act does not cover offences committed before August 1973, which is why the bill proposes to extend the early settlement system at the beginning of the riots (January 1968-August 1973). UVF were the first men and were almost missing by their supporters. They last out without comment, most of them hid their faces in front of the cameras and were hit by small groups of men who also hid behind baseball caps, scarves and dark glasses. A total of 428 terrorists have been released since the program began 22 months ago, 143 of whom were serving life sentences. Serial killers and bombers, many of whom are responsible for the worst atrocities committed in 30 years of violence in the province, were released today to be greeted by cheering supporters. Jailed loyalists and republicans were released today when the latest wave of prisoner releases began in Northern Ireland. 78 prisoners were released from maze prison. First, 8 members of the UVF, followed by a group of men from UDA/UFF, LVF and INLA. Forty-six members of the Provisional IRA were the last to be released. Gerry Kelly, a sinn Fein member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, imprisoned as an IRA man for the Old Bailey bombing and who escaped from the Maze in 1983, said: “All the prisoners here are victims.” Mr. Kelly shook hands with each of the 46 ira men released. He said Republicans, including prisoners, are committed to a political strategy rather than an arms conflict. “I`ve been in prison and I`m not a threat to anyone,” he said.
Norman Coopey, a member of the LVF, who was sentenced to life in prison for the abduction, torture and murder of James Morgan, a Catholic teenager from County Down, is also released. The victim`s mother, Philomena, said she was afraid to meet her attacker, but had to accept the release. “The provisions of the Northern Ireland (Stormont House Agreement) Bill on which we were consulted would amend the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to extend this two-year accelerated release system for disorderly offences to those sentenced to prison terms in Britain.