TIME Northern Ireland

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams Freed from Police Custody

Republican party Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, left, next to Sinn Fein politician and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness, talks to the media during a press conference at a hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on May 4, 2014 following his release from Antrim police station where he was detained for questioning over a 1972 murder. Peter Muhly—AFP/Getty Images

The 65-year-old Irish republican politician was released without charge Sunday, after being arrested Wednesday on suspicion of ordering a 1972 killing while serving as the Belfast commander in the Irish Republican Army

Updated 4:13 pm E.T.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was released without charges from police on Sunday after spending five days in custody.

Earlier in the day, the Associated Press, citing an anonymous police source, reported that the 65-year-old Irish republican politician would not face charges over a 1972 killing, but that police would send prosecutors a file of potential evidence against him.

Adams’ release was delayed by two hours due to angry loyalist protestors, who attempted to physically block his release until police officers, many of whom were clad in riot-proof gear, escorted Adams out of the building through an alternate exit.

Adams was arrested on Wednesday following allegations that he ordered the 1972 killing of a mother of 10 while serving as the Belfast commander in the Irish Republican Army. He has denied the accusations.

Adams’ detention period was due to expire Sunday. Police would have had to charge him or seek permission from a judge to extend his time in custody, as they did Friday.

According to the BBC, Sinn Fein politician and Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said his party may no longer be able to support the Police Service of Northern Ireland following Adams’ time in custody.

In response, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, accused Sinn Fein of trying to blackmail the police with “republican bullyboy tactics.”



Sinn Fein Leader Arrested for 1972 Murder

FILE - Sinn Fein Chief Gerry Adams Arrested In 1972 Murder
Former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams attends a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House on March 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. Olivier Douliery—Getty Images

Gerry Adams, the leader of the Irish nationalist party, surrendered to authorities for questioning over his alleged role in the Irish Republican Army's abduction, murder and burial of a 37-year-old mother of 10 from Belfast more than four decades ago

Updated: Thursday, 7:03 ET

The leader of the Irish republican group Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, was placed under arrest Wednesday for suspected involvement in the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, one of Northern Ireland’s “Disappeared.”

Adams denied any part in the murder before turning himself in to police in Northern Ireland.

McConville, 37, was a widowed mother of 10 when she was abducted in front of her children in Belfast by the Irish Republican Army, shot, and buried in secret after being wrongfully accused of being an informer, the BBC reports. Her body was found at a beach in County Louth in 2003 and several arrests related to her case have been made in recent months.

“While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs. McConville,” Adams said in a statement. He called her killing “a grievous injustice to her and her family.”


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