Two Sinn Fein councillors have demanded answers from the PSNI about why property seized from their homes eight months ago still hasn’t been returned.
Former Limavady Mayor, Colr. Sean McGlinchey and his colleague Colr. Tony McCaul were arrested within days of each other in late November, 2014 in a high profile police operation into paramilitary activity in Dungiven.
Both councillors, who serve on the Causeway Coast and Borough Glens, were released unconditionally. They say since then they have asked several times about getting the items back.
Sean McGlinchey’s Council-owned laptop, his daughter’s laptop and his wife’s phone were seized during a search of his home.
Colr. McGlinchey said he was allowed to keep his phone after he was arrested, even when in Antrim Serious Crime Suite.
“I have asked a number of times about getting the equipment back. It’s not good enough,” said Colr. McGlinchey. “It’s ridiculous. I just don’t see how they can justify that. That is a council laptop police have and it’s all council-related work.”
Colr. McCaul’s mobile phone, his wife’s mobile phone, a Notebook and a laptop and a SatNav were seized.
“It’s really inconvenienced me, and I’m wondering if I should bill the PSNI for the items I have had to replace,” said Colr. McCaul. “It’s not good enough, and I don’t understand why they are taking so long. I was questioned and released unconditionally, so why do they still have my equipment? They had no reason to lift me. I know in my heart they had absolutely no reason to arrest me.”
Solicitor, Ruairi Muldoon of MacDermott, McGurk & Partners said regarding his clients Sean McGlinchey and Tony McCaul that during questioning by police “no evidence whatsoever was put to them which would suggest their involvement in anything illegal”.
“When asked for any scintilla of evidence the only response was that it was ‘intelligence led,” said Mr Muldoon.
“The arrests, the spurious lines of questioning and the revocation of my clients security clearance are all subject to complaints at present,” added Mr Muldoon.
When asked about the matter, a PSNI spokesperson said “enquiries are ongoing”, and declined to comment any further.
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