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Terror crimes must not go unpunished, Cameron says of Massereene murders

Sappers Patrick Azimkar 21 (left) and Mark Quinsey, 23, who were shot dead outside Massereene Barracks, Antrim in 2009.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar 21 (left) and Mark Quinsey, 23, who were shot dead outside Massereene Barracks, Antrim in 2009.

Dealing with the legacies of the Troubles does not mean crimes should go unpunished, David Cameron said today as we was challenged on the lack of justice following the shootings at Massereene Barracks in 2009.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said the family of Sapper Patrick Azimkar, who live in his constituency, had not seen the case resolved in the five years since. Mark Quinsey was also killed in the attack, for which the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

Raising the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Lammy said: “Five years ago, in one of the worst scenes since the Good Friday Agreement, my constituent Sapper Patrick Azimkar and his colleague Mark Quinsey were shot and killed outside their barracks in County Antrim.

“Their families still await justice. Will you look at this case and also into the use of Diplock trials in Northern Ireland?”

Mr Cameron replied: “Can I take this opportunity to express my sympathy to the families of Sappers Azimkar and Quinsey. This was a despicable terrorist attack and I fully share the desire the perpetrators are brought to justice.

“Just because we are trying to deal with the legacies of the past does not mean crimes that have been committed should not be properly prosecuted and those responsible convicted.

“I know the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Theresa Villiers) met the Sappers’ parents to discuss their concerns.

“The Diplock trial system in Northern Ireland was abolished in 2007 and replaced by provisions allowing non-jury trials only in specific sets of circumstances. These provisions lapse every two years and consideration will be given to whether they ought to be renewed for a further two years in 2015.”

 

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