Northern Ireland

Gerry Adams evidence at brother's trial 'examined by police'

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Media captionGerry Adams testified at his younger brother's first trial

Police examined a Gerry Adams' statement to police in 2009 to establish if he had committed an offence, the Policing Board has heard.

The police were subsequently directed by the Public Prosecution Service that there should be no prosecution.

Gerry Adams' brother, Liam, was convicted on Tuesday of raping and abusing his daughter, Áine, over a six-year period.

The Sinn Féin president testified at Liam Adams' first trial in April.

It collapsed due to legal reasons.

Gerry Adams, the TD for Louth and a former West Belfast MP, did not give evidence at the second trial.

Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris told the Policing Board the matter had been examined in 2010, including taking legal advice and consulting with the PPS.

ACC Harris said: "This matter has been examined to see if we should open an investigation into the case and the advice that we received was not to open an investigation.

"We will re-examine the transcripts (of the recent court case) but all the facts in our knowledge in 2010 have not been moved on materially since the recent trial."

Liam Adams, 58, from Bernagh Drive, Belfast, was found guilty of 10 offences, including rape and gross indecency, against his daughter, Áine Adams.

The abuse was committed between 1977 and 1983, when she was aged between four and nine.

At the previous trial, Gerry Adams said his brother admitted that he had sexually abused Áine Adams. This was during a "walk in the rain" in Dundalk, he said.

Gerry Adams said that, during the encounter in Dundalk, his brother, while admitting molestation or sexual interference or assault, did not admit rape.

The Sinn Féin president made his first report to the police about the allegations in 2007, shortly after his party voted to accept the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

In 2009, Gerry Adams made a second statement to police, telling officers that his brother Liam had confessed to him nine years earlier, in 2000, that he had sexually abused his daughter Áine.

Democratic Unionist Party MLA Jonathan Craig accused the Sinn Féin leader of delaying contacting police.

Speaking at the Policing Board meeting, he said: "It was only nine years later that he came forward with the evidence of that and that was with the background of a planned documentary occurring around what his brother had done."

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