Sinn Féin President Jerry Adams is being held overnight after being arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in connection with the murder in 1972 of Jean McConville. I should first caution that in the UK a person may be arrested on suspicion or for questioning and is charged later or released without charge. The arrest is a formal procedure for administering a caution.*
Jean McConville, 37, was a mother of 10 falsely accused of being an informant against the IRA. She was abducted in front of her children and "disappeared". Her body was discovered buried in a beach in 2003.
Adams attended Antrim police station by appointment and I should add this which is currently available on the Guardian site (reporting restrictions are very strict in the UK following a charge.)
Just before Adams walked into the police station on Wednesday evening, he denied to RTÉ television that he had anything to with the McConville murder. Adams also rejected recent claims by former IRA bomber and convicted killer Peter Rogers that he and the Sinn Féin deputy first minister Martin McGuinness had ordered him to transport explosives to bomb Britain in 1980.
In a statement issued shortly after it was announced that he had been arrested, Adams said: "I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family.
"Well-publicised, malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these. While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs McConville."
* The police cautions in the UK are analogous to the "Miranda" in the USA. It is also administered when a formal statement has to be made to other officials such as tax inspectors if the statement is to be admissible in later court proceedings. The exact wording in Northern Ireland is:
“You do not have to say anything, but I must caution you that if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in Court, it may harm your defence. If you do say anything it may be given in evidence.”The person cautioned is then asked “Do you understand?”. All formal police interviews are recorded onto two tapes; one to produce a transcript, the other sealed to prevent tampering with the original. In some cases an interview may be videotaped.