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IAF - Irish Anti-imperialist Forum - Maghaberry block 'set aside' in case of trouble at G8 summit

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Maghaberry block 'set aside' in case of trouble at G8 summit

On May 10 it was reported that an entire prison block at Maghaberry jail in the Six Occupied Counties has been set aside to house protesters convicted of disorder at the G8 summit. It is understood the block has 108 cells and could accommodate up to 200 prisoners.

 
The former Lisanelly army barracks near Omagh will also be used as a temporary holding centre for those arrested. Global leaders are due to meet for the two-day conference in County Fermanagh on June 17 and 18 amid heavy security.
 
David Ford, Stormont justice minister, told BBC NI's Good Morning Ulster on May 10 that no-one knew what extent of trouble there might be. Previous G8 summits have been marked by anti-capitalist protests. He said Lisanelly barracks could hold up to 300 people.
David Ford said in order to deal with an influx of those expected to be arrested, the department was changing the law to allow a wider range of court venues. At the moment, county court offences are normally prosecuted in the division where an offence occurs. Changes in law is becoming a common occurrence by the British government to ensure there is no dissent to their policies. 
 
By changing the law for three weeks, other courts can now be used. Dungannon in County Tyrone will be a primary court location for summit-related court appearances.
There will be specific G8 courts in Antrim, Belfast and Craigavon. This avoids a situation where the county court in Fermanagh becomes “choked” with potential G8 trouble-related cases.
 
Ford said that an extra 3,600 police were being brought into the Six Counties to support the 7,000 RUC/PSNI members who will be on normal duty. He also acknowledged the strong cross-border element of collaboration from the 26-County State.
 
On May 15, it was announced that [more] new laws could see mobile phone networks shut down in cross-border areas during the G8 summit due to the so-called threat of “terrorist activity”.
 
Minister for Justice and Defence in the 26 Counties Alan Shatter told the Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality that the proposed amendments to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Bill 2013 came about because of the possibility of terrorist activity when the G8 takes place in Fermanagh in June.
 
He said that he intends to introduce amendments to “deal with threat to life and property posed by explosive devices which make use of mobile communications technology in their construction or activation”
 
published in: Irish Republican Information Service no. 304