Northern Ireland police releases Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

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The decision to release Adams means that prosecution lawyers will decide if charges will be brought. BBC / REUTERS
Northern Ireland police released Gerry Adams from custody on Sunday and the Sinn Fein leader sought to calm fears that his four-day detention could destabilize the British province by pledging his support to the peace process.
Police on Sunday said they are sending a report of their questioning of the 65-year-old Adams to the Northern Ireland prosecutor\’s office. It will decide whether to charge him in the killing of Jean McConville.
Speaking at a press conference in Belfast following his release on Sunday evening,  Adams said he had contacted Northern Ireland police two months ago about the McConville case.
He said he had gone voluntarily to police last week and then been arrested. He questioned their timing in the middle of an election campaign and claimed they could have used discretion rather than arresting him. They did not need to use "pernicious, coercive legislation to deal with a legacy issue", he said.
The Sinn Féin leader said police had conducted 33 taped interviews and detectives had presented him with old photographs of himself and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and with interviews conducted by people who were "enemies of the peace process".
He added he did not go to Antrim police station "expecting special treatment", but said his arrest had sent out the "wrong signal".
Speaking after his release following four days of questioning,  Adams said there was a "sustained, malicious, untruthful campaign" alleging his involvement in the 1972 killing.
A file will be sent to the Public Prosecution Service, police said as he was released.
Adams was a key figure in the 1998 peace settlement after 30 years of killings in Northern Ireland between Irish Catholic nationalists and mostly Protestant pro-British loyalists seeking to keep Northern Ireland as part of Britain. 
Over the years, former Irish Republican Army fighters have accused Adams, a member of the Irish parliament, of involvement in the campaign of killings during the sectarian clashes. He has repeatedly denied any involvement in the McConville case, but was arrested last Wednesday and held for questioning.
McConville was abducted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army from her Belfast home and shot to death. Her body was secretly buried and found decades later on a beach in the Republic of Ireland. 
Historians and witnesses say Adams served as an IRA commander for decades during the conflict. Adams has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group, despite accusations from an IRA veteran who said McConville was killed on Adams\’ orders.
Source: Agencies

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