MARTIN McGuinness should give evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal in answer to claims that he authorised IRA human bomb attacks, First Minister Peter Robinson has said.
The DUP leader entered the debate over the naming of the Deputy First Minister as the northern commander of the IRA at the time of the double murder of RUC officers Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan in 1989.
Former soldier Ian Hurst [also known as Martin Ingram] told a private hearing of the inquiry into IRA/Garda collusion that Mr McGuinness had authorised the south Armagh IRA to kidnap, torture and kill the two senior police officers.
Yesterday, Mr Robinson said the allegations would only have implications for the power-sharing Executive if they were stood-up in court.
He said no one would be surprised over the claims made by the former Army intelligence officer.
“When we went into government, we were in no doubt what the background of the Sinn Fein leadership was.
“If there’s someone that’s shaking their head and putting up their hands in surprise then they’re really out of touch,” said Mr Robinson in an interview with UTV.
“We take the position that if people have committed crimes then they’re answerable, no matter what their position, and if there’s evidence and it’s brought forward then it’s up to due process to determine,” he said.
The First Minister said he has not yet spoken to Mr McGuinness regarding the claims.
In a statement, Sinn Fein once again dismissed the allegations made by Mr Ingram as “lies”.
“Martin McGuinness totally rejects these allegations,” the statement began.
“The comments of the British agent ‘Martin Ingram’ at the Smithwick Tribunal, which have received significantly more media interest and publicity than other aspects of the tribunal this week, are those of a self-interested fantasist.
“Key testimonies which contradict Martin Ingram’s evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal have either been ignored or have not received the same prominence by several media outlets, including those from his unit superior ‘Witness
82’ and senior members of An garda Siochána.
“Chief Supt Walsh of the Garda has contradicted numerous claims by Ingram and when ‘Witness 82’ was asked to comment on Martin Ingram’s motivation he stated clearly that he has ‘made a career out of it’ and that ‘he is making money
out of it’.”
On Wednesday, Mr Ingram reiterated his claim that he believed the mur-ders would have had to have been authorised by the IRA’s northern command because they would have needed “political cover”.
He told the tribunal that “human bombs [were] also authorised by Martin McGuinness...he controls northern command for the vast majority of the time”.
“McGuinness controlled northern command. He controlled it for the vast majority of the time, contrary to what he would have you believe that he left the IRA.”