A republican arrested and charged after rioting in the Markets area of Belfast has had all charges withdrawn, after an intervention by the Public Prosecution Service.
Gerard McEvoy had been charged with riotous assembly, throwing a petrol bomb and aggravated taking and driving away on 7 August 2017.
A PPS representative intervened to withdraw all charges, which instead will be considered by way of a report.
This approach by the Public Prosecution Service stands in stark contrast to the practices deployed during the Union flag protest when there was a robust attempt to remand almost every person arrested, the majority of which were on minor petty sessions charges.
The fact that the PPS have went even further than agreeing to bail, but have withdrawn all charges, is inexplicable.
This development will, once again, call into question the impartiality of the PPS.
Many Unionists feel that there has been a distinctly partisan prosecutorial approach with a clear bias in favour of the republican community since the appointment of former IRA Solictor, Barra McGrory QC.
Since you’re here…
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Unionist Voice than ever but unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can.
The Unionist Voice is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias. No one edits our Editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important because it enables us to give a voice to the voiceless, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.
f everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support the Unionist Voice– and it only takes a minute. Thank you.