Northern Ireland police seek access to Troubles tapes

image captionThe late Brendan Hughes was one of the people who gave interviews to Boston College

Police in NI have launched a legal bid for access to confidential Troubles archives held by an American college.

The recordings, held by Boston College, are of former republicans and loyalists talking about their actions in the Troubles.

They are being sought by detectives investigating cases of people murdered and secretly buried by the IRA.

Interviewees were promised that their accounts would not be published until after they had died.

The interviews were carried out by researchers working on an oral history project at Boston College in the late 1990s.

In return for honest accounts, they promised their interviewees confidentiality and assured them their accounts would not be made available until after they had died.

Now, however, prosecutors in Northern Ireland want the material to be handed over.

This is the first time they have tried to use the Boston College oral history collection to build criminal cases.

The subpoena seeks accounts from two former IRA members who accused Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams of running a secret cell within the IRA that carried out the kidnappings and disappearance - something Gerry Adams has denied doing or having any knowledge of.