Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 12:13 UK

Morrison conviction is quashed

Danny Morrison
Morrison is an author and former director of publicity for Sinn Féin

A former Sinn Féin director of publicity's conviction in relation to the unlawful imprisonment of an IRA informer has been quashed.

Danny Morrison and a number of others were sentenced to eight years' imprisonment in 1991 in relation to the kidnap of Sandy Lynch.

Mr Lynch was taken to a house in west Belfast for interrogation by the IRA.

Mr Morrison and the others claimed they had gone to the house to arrange a Sinn Féin press conference.

They said that Mr Lynch was due to speak at the event.

Their cases were referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Unusually, it gave its reason in a confidential annex, which Mr Morrison and the others were not allowed to see.

He claimed this was because it contained details of IRA double agents who had been in the house and that the arrests had been a set-up.

"What was refreshing about what the judges have said, and it's good in this new dispensation we are in, is that they were quite prepared to state the reasons contained in the secret annex for overturning our convictions," said Mr Morrison.

"I think that's very positive. My previous experience of the judiciary has not been a good one."

Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr said in court on Friday that, having read the annex, he found the convictions to be unsafe and quashed them.

It is expected there will be more legal argument about whether the Court of Appeal should publish its reasons for reaching its decision.

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