ANTRIM: Northern Ireland police yesterday freed Gerry Adams after four days of questioning over a notorious IRA murder, but the republican leader could still face charges when a file is sent to prosecutors.
“A 65-year-old man arrested by detectives investigating the abduction and murder of Jean McConville has been released pending report to PPS (Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland),” said a statement issued by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
The PPS must now decide whether there is enough evidence to charge the leader of the Sinn Fein political party, or whether prosecution would be in the public interest.
Adams was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the death of Jean McConville, a mother-of-ten abducted from her home in 1972. He strongly denies any involvement in the murder, just as he denies ever having been a member of the IRA.
Loyalist anti-Adams demonstrators, who want the province to remain British, waved Union Jack flags as they gathered outside Antrim police station, where the republican leader was due to emerge after his questioning.
Tensions in Northern Ireland have risen since Wednesday’s arrest, with around 400 republicans attending a march on Saturday in west Belfast, Adams’s former constituency, raising fears that it could damage the still-fragile peace process.