Frazer to lead 60 victims to meet parties about letters, deals and negotiations

Willie Frazer
Willie Frazer

Victims campaigner Willie Frazer says that 60 victims are to travel to Stormont on Tuesday to meet all five political parties about on the run letters.

“We are demanding to know what was negotiated regarding on the runs and what has been negotiated for victims,” Mr Frazer said last night.

All 60 victims are members of the south Armagh group FAIR, for which he is the official spokesman.

“The Secretary of State says that the on the runs (OTR) scheme has been stopped. But in our recent meeting Theresa Villiers told me it will not be withdrawn but that nobody will be getting any more letters.

“But what use is that to victims of terrorism? The horse has already bolted – there is no point putting the door on now.”

TUV leader Jim Allister yesterday echoed Mr Frazer’s concerns.

“It’s simply not good enough to say that no more of these letters will be issued,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee last night failed to publish its terms of reference for its investigation into the OTR letters scandal. The details had been expected in the public domain by last night.

It is understood the committee had been working on finalising the details for most of the day but that reaching agreement took longer than expected because they were working remotely and not meeting in person.

Chairman Laurence Robertson MP had previously criticised the judicial inquiry commissioned by the Prime Minister on account of the fact that it was to be held in secret, would have no power to compel witnesses to attend and would be “too narrow” in scope.

The committee, by contrast, will hold its hearings in public, have power of parliamentary summons and will, he says, go deeper in its investigations.

The News Letter understands that the government had asked the committee to withhold publication of its terms of reference until it made a significant announcement about the judicial inquiry, an announcement now expected next week.

However, the committee had intended to publish in advance of the government announcement.