Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 14:38 UK

Paisley Jr 'wants to go to jail'

Ian Paisley Jnr
Mr Paisley says he will not reveal his source.

The High Court has been told that Ian Paisley Jr appears to want to go to jail over his refusal to reveal a source to the Billy Wright Inquiry.

Mr Paisley has refused to name a prison officer who, he claims, gave him information about the destruction of Prison Service files at the Maze jail.

John Larkin QC said the inquiry did not want the politician jailed.

He said "brandishing custody before Mr Paisley appears to be like brandishing a whip before Max Mosley".

Max Mosley, the president of world motorsport, was revealed as a participant in sado-masochistic sex games by a tabloid newspaper.

Monday's High Court hearing is considering what sanctions to take against Mr Paisley for his continued defiance of the ruling that he should reveal the name.

In June 2007, Mr Paisley wrote to Billy Wright's father with information that the Northern Ireland Prison Service had employed people to destroy about 5,600 files shortly after his son was shot at the Maze Prison.


Mr Paisley had said he was told of an alleged policy within the prison service to destroy a large number of files as an emergency due to data protection legislation.

He said this information, which was provided by a "senior prison officer", claimed that the decision to destroy the files was "taken at the top".

Mr Larkin, appearing for the inquiry, said jailing the DUP man would be ineffective and too costly to the public purse.

Mr Paisley's barrister Joseph Aiken said his client had already suffered a huge financial penalty in excess of £35,000, for the earlier part of the court proceedings alone.

He said perhaps contrary to public perceptions Mr Paisley had a modest financial position.

On Sunday Mr Paisley said the case could lead him into "financial ruin."

Mr Aiken also told the court Mr Paisley had made two attempts to be released from his bond of confidentiality but permission had been declined.

The Judge Mr Justice Gillen hopes to deliver his decision on what to do with Mr Paisley on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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