Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 07:56 UK

Paisley Jr 'faces financial ruin'

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

Ian Paisley Jr is due back in court over his continued refusal to reveal a source to the Billy Wright Inquiry.

Mr Paisley has said he faces "financial ruin" over the case, but that he would rather go to jail than comply.

The MLA was summonsed by the inquiry into the death of the LVF leader, shot inside the Maze prison in 1997.

He has refused to reveal the identity of an officer who, he claims, gave him information about the destruction of NI Prison Service files at the Maze jail.

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.

'Not a millionaire'

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 Paisley said he had been forced to put his home on the market to pay legal bills arising from the case.

"Contrary to some public perceptions, I am not a millionaire son sitting on a family fortune. I have nothing more than my political salary," he told the Sunday Tribune.

"I have had to put my house on the County Antrim coast up for sale. It's a lovely house, with fine views of Rathlin Island. After the hustle and bustle of political life at Stormont, it is my retreat."

He said while the source had approached him as a public representative he had to fund his legal funds himself and that they were not being met by the DUP or the Executive.

He said that he would like to have appealed the decision to the House of Lords, but that he could not afford the costs.

In his ruling in March, Mr Justice Gillen said that although it was important for elected representatives to be able to protect the confidentiality of a source, the information was central in enabling the inquiry to determine whether or not the prison authorities had facilitated Mr Wright's death.



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