Police get 48 more hours
to question Sinn Fein chief
Northern Ireland police were granted an extra 48 hours Friday to interrogate Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams about the 1972 IRA killing of a Belfast widow, infuriating his Irish nationalist party and raising questions about the stability of the province's Catholic-Protestant government.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed in a statement its detectives received permission at a closed-door hearing with a judge to detain Adams for up to two more days.
Had the request been refused, authorities would have been required to charge Adams or release him Friday night, two days after his arrest in the abduction, slaying and secret burial of Jean McConville, a mother of 10. The new deadline is Sunday night, although this too could be extended.
The unexpectedly long detention of Adams left senior party colleagues seething. Sinn Fein warned it could end its support for law and order in Northern Ireland - a key peacemaking commitment that enabled the creation of a unity government seven years ago - if Adams is charged. - AP
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