Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has expressed deep concerns over comments made by Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers in relation to the arrest of Gerry Adams.
Mr Nicholson said: “Many people will be extremely concerned at the Secretary of State’s comments.
“The impression is being reinforced that some regard Adams as being so important that government politicians in both London and Dublin are jumping around in absolute fear over what might happen if he is charged.
“Today we have learned that conversations have taken place between London, Belfast, Dublin and even Washington. What has this all got to do with the American administration? Adams’ arrest has got absolutely nothing to do with the United States government. This is simply incredible.
“We have also heard that Martin McGuinness has been on the phone to the Prime Minister. Does he think he can pick up the phone to David Cameron in the same way that Gerry Adams used to pick up the phone to Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister?
“How can the police do their job under such circumstances? It is overt political pressure on the PSNI and is an absolute disgrace.
“This is entirely a matter for the justice system. It is not for any politician to interfere. The PSNI are investigating a brutal and callous abduction and murder which took place in Belfast in 1972.
“The law must apply equally to everyone. Politicians need to get off the backs of PSNI officers and let them do their job properly.
“Decisions must be based on evidence and facts, not the political connections of the person being questioned.”