Northern Ireland

DUP would back limited immunity if sought by victims

Mr Wilson said the point of the talks was to try to give closure to "those who are hurting"
Image caption Mr Wilson said the point of the talks was to try to give closure to "those who are hurting"

The Democratic Unionist Party would support limited immunity for people involved in Troubles-related crimes if requested by victims, an MP has said.

Sammy Wilson said he would seek to ensure people were aware of the implications of such a decision.

It comes amid reports that various incentives for uncovering the truth are up for discussion at talks hosted by US diplomat Dr Richard Haass.

Mr Wilson said the talks' aim was "to try and give closure" to those in pain.

He told the BBC's Nolan Show: "Now, some of those who are hurting say: 'This is the only way that we believe we can get the information which will deal with the hurt which we have experienced.'

"Then I think it will be very difficult for anyone to say: 'We are going to deny you that.'"

Earlier this week, DUP leader and Northern Ireland's first minister, Peter Robinson, said he was "not averse" to considering proposals offering immunity in return for information on historic murders.

But Mr Robinson said his party would oppose any amnesty.

Dr Haass is hosting talks in Northern Ireland aimed at resolving disputes over flags, parades and the past.

Incentives

He said there was a "sense of urgency" about the discussion he is holding with each of the five biggest political parties.

On Monday, Dr Haass told a news conference that "dealing with the past presents a very detailed and intricate set of issues".

He added: "Balancing it and trying to get as full a picture of what really happened is obviously in everyone's interest.

"What sort of incentives of mechanisms we might use, again will be on the table this week."

The US diplomat is determined to bring the talks to a head by the end of the year, and ideally before Christmas.

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