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McCartneys reject Sinn Fein claim


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McCartneys reject Sinn Fein claim

Murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney's family have rejected Sinn Fein claims they risk being manipulated, as they take their fight for justice to the US.

They insist the IRA was involved in the murder, with one of them accusing Sinn Fein of being part of a cover-up.

The party's Martin McGuinness cautioned against them being manipulated for ulterior and party political purposes.

But Catherine McCartney said: "We have to be very careful we're not being used by anybody... we're not stupid women."

She said that the influences they would resist "included Sinn Fein and all political parties".

She added: "We get the impression that someone thinks out there that somebody's behind this, pulling our strings. The only person behind this is our Robert and he is the person pulling our strings."

Catherine McCartney said she would be giving President Bush a dossier on the events before and after her brother's murder when the family met him on St Patrick's Day.

Mr McCartney, 33, was stabbed to death after a row in a Belfast bar on 30 January.

Mr McGuinness said those responsible for the murder should "put their hands up and admit what they did".

He told BBC News on Tuesday he was "amazed no-one has been arrested and charged" over the killing.

He said the PSNI was attempting to "drag out the investigation" into the murder and were using the case to "damage Sinn Fein".

A PSNI spokesman said: "This is very much a live police investigation into a particularly brutal murder and it's not appropriate to discuss specific issues regarding witnesses or suspects.

"Police refute the distractions which have been peddled. Our sole interest is to bring to justice the killer of Mr McCartney and give closure to the family."

'Main suspects'

One of the McCartney sisters is threatening to challenge Sinn Fein at the polls, but Mr McGuinness said they could risk popular support.

It has emerged that two Sinn Fein election candidates and a former party councillor were in the Belfast bar on the night Mr McCartney was killed.

All three say they have given statements to their solicitors.

Mr McCartney's family have called for any witnesses to go directly to police.

His sister, Paula, said that the situation "stinks of a cover-up".

Detectives investigating the murder are planning to interview one of the main suspects in the case.

It is understood the suspect is one of the three men expelled by the IRA after the 33-year-old was killed.

His solicitor has contacted police and arrangements will made for the suspect to be interviewed at a later date.

Police investigating the murder arrested and questioned 11 men, all of whom were released.

The IRA expelled three members over the murder and Sinn Fein subsequently suspended seven of its members.

The McCartney sisters are due to meet President Bush on Thursday and will also hold talks with Senators Edward Kennedy and Hillary Clinton during their visit.

Story from BBC NEWS:


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