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Debating illegal wiretapping

This morning I supported the Alliance Party Amendment that an inquiry into illegal wiretapping, is one for the Policing Board to investigate first and foremost, and the Justice Minister will be willing to assist with the investigation should she be required to do so.

Rushing into an independent inquiry without exhausting the existing mechanisms would be not only imprudent but also a disservice to the principle of due process. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal hearings are currently ongoing, and it is imperative that we allow these established processes to unfold and await their findings before considering further actions.

 

Let us not forget the operational independence of the Police Service of Northern Ireland from the Department of Justice. The PSNI is accountable to the Northern Ireland Policing Board, which includes both political representatives and independent members, ensuring the police service is effective, impartial, and accountable. This Policing Board is actively addressing the surveillance concerns and will thoroughly assess these issues. We must respect their role and allow them to complete their review before the Minister considers any additional measures.



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