Paisley jnr to stay silent on identity of informant

 

IAN PAISLEY jnr has reiterated he won’t reveal the name of the prison warder who supplied him with information related to the murder of Billy Wright as the Belfast High Court deadline for him to disclose his source expired yesterday.

The DUP Assembly member was instructed by the court to divulge the name of the warder who provided him with the information. Mr Paisley, however, said yesterday he was prepared to go to prison rather than give up his source.

Mr Paisley said that the warder provided him with details of how some 5,600 prison documents were allegedly destroyed following the INLA murder of Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright at the Maze prison in 1997. The Billy Wright inquiry is seeking access to whoever provided this information.

While Mr Paisley last week said he planned to appeal the High Court decision, he said at a Stormont press conference yesterday that he had now decided against this course of action.

He said appealing the decision “would only prolong the agony of everyone involved” and additionally could be financially prohibitive.

“I don’t want to be used as an excuse by the Billy Wright tribunal for them not to make their report early, which they should be doing this summer,” said Mr Paisley.

“My source, my constituent, is safe and will not be named,” he added. “It is therefore up to the Billy Wright tribunal to decide do they pursue a public representative for protecting a whistleblower.”

The MLA said he was prepared to go to prison if necessary. “It is a matter for the courts to decide what they want to do,” he added. “I will take the punishment as it comes.”

Mr Paisley did not specify what he would do if he was fined rather than imprisoned.