Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 18:37 UK

No more Libya training - Robinson

Ian Paisley Junior
Ian Paisley Junior approved the transfer of PSNI officers to Libya

The DUP will not support any further deployment of PSNI officers to Libya, party leader Peter Robinson has said.

The moves marks a new development in the row over PSNI officers being seconded to Libya to train police.

The row embarrassed the DUP after it emerged that Policing Board member Ian Paisley Jr had approved the contract for the secondments.

Mr Paisley defended his decision saying it was "useful" to have an officer bringing back information.

Mr Robinson said no more secondments would be approved "unless there was agreement on compensation for victims of Libyan-backed IRA violence"

The government has been asked to comment on a suggestion by Ian Paisley Jr that PSNI officers working in Libya may have been gathering intelligence.

TUV leader Jim Allister has written to the home secretary asking if the secondments involved intelligence work.

He said he was worried that officers could be put at risk.

Mr Paisley approved the secondment request in 2008 in his role as chair of the Policing Board's Human Resources sub-committee.

When the decision was revealed by the BBC on Friday there was outrage from some victims groups and unionist politicians.

Intelligence

Mr Paisley's party colleague Nigel Dodds said it was "totally inappropriate and offensive" given Libya's history of arming the IRA.

He also said: "Whoever made that decision, whoever thought that was the right way to proceed, must be living in a different world and different planet"

In an interview defending his decision Mr Paisley said: "In an adult world you don't have to be a genius to work out why it would be useful to have a senior officer, who has got intelligence skills, to look at Libya and to examine that country and to look at the facts that surround that country and to bring that information back to us..

In an adult world you don't have to be a genius to work out why it would be useful to have a senior officer, who has got intelligence skills, to look at Libya and to examine that country
Ian Paisley Jr

"It would have been very churlish from our point of view, being aware of all of the facts that I can't go into in total detail... whenever we know that other material came in the opposite direction as a result of Libya trying to help."

Mr Allister said he doubted very much if their was an intelligence aspect to the officers' work but called on the home secretary to make a clear statement on the matter.

"I am concerned about the risk posed to officers on foreign service if this perception is either true or allowed to gather credence," he said.

"Hence, I believe it is important that the home secretary clearly states the position on these matters."



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SEE ALSO
Retired officers to go to Libya
21 Sep 09 |  Northern Ireland
Libyan post 'useful for police'
18 Sep 09 |  Northern Ireland
Libya's 30-year link to the IRA
07 Sep 09 |  Northern Ireland


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