Cooke’s GSOC report is “an exercise in smoke and mirrors” says ICCL

  • 10-06-2014
  • Categorized in: Justice

ICCL Press Release, for immediate release

22:00, Tuesday 10 June 2014

 

Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has described the 65-page Cooke report into the possible bugging of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), released by the Government late this evening (10 June 2014), as “an exercise in smoke and mirrors”. 

Speaking shortly after the release of the report and an appearance by Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald TD on RTÉ’s Primetime, ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

“Constrained by the terms of reference accorded to him by Government, Judge Cooke has found precisely what it seems to have been preordained that he would find: that it is impossible to rule out categorically all possibility of covert surveillance.”

“What is striking, however, is that the Judge appears to have made absolutely no independent investigative attempt to establish objectively whether or not surveillance of GSOC by An Garda Síochána had been sought or authorised. It seems that not a single member of An Garda Síochána or the Defence Forces was interviewed; no examination of the records kept of the use of surveillance equipment by police or military intelligence services took place, nor were the “oversight” activities of the “designated judges” under the relevant legislation subject to any form of review”, Mr Kelly continued.

“The Judge’s exclusive focus on whether or not GSOC’s levels of suspicion regarding surveillance were well-founded entirely side-steps the core question of whether or not any agency of the state sought or obtained permission to engage in surveillance of our independent police complaints authority.  A report that merely revisits a range of more or less plausible explanations for communications anomalies, without even attempting to compare them with information readily available to the police and military intelligence services, can only be qualified as an exercise in smoke and mirrors”, Mr Kelly concluded.

ENDS

Walter Jayawardene

Communications Manager

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

Tel. + 353 1 799 4503

Mob: +353 87 9981574   

E-mail  walter.jayawardene@iccl.ie

 

NOTE TO EDITORS

The redacted text of Judge Cooke’s review is available at this link:

http://www.merrionstreet.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/GSOC-Report-Final-REDACTED.pdf


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