Brazilian Grand Prix organisers have been issued with security recommendations by the FIA to implement in 2018 to avoid the issues which plagued this year’s race weekend. The penultimate race of the season had a series of robberies and attacks on F1 personnel1 take place away from Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit . Most concerning was the fact that the incidents continued despite local police increasing its presence around the circuit after Mercedes staff members were robbed at gunpoint early in the weekend. The problematic weekend prompted Pirelli and McLaren to cancel a two-day tyre test planned to take place at the circuit the following week . F1 management said it could not be held responsible for the attacks, but the failure to address concerns during the weekend itself led to criticism, prompting a report2 to be presented to the final World Motor Sport Council meeting of the year this week.
That report has outlined a plan for Interlagos to follow next year and includes the setting up of a police reporting hub at the circuit itself. “The World Council was presented with the report on the security incidents that occurred at this year’s Brazilian Grand Prix which was requested from the Commercial Rights Holder (CRH) by the FIA,” a statement read. “Following the report, the CRH recommended that the promoter, who is responsible for the security of the event, retains an independent security expert to evaluate and advise on security plans, implements a police reporting hub at the circuit and improves overall communication between the promoter security, police and F1 stakeholders.
“The World Council strongly urged the promoter to implement these recommendations and improve the situation ahead of next year’s event . The FIA will offer to participate in discussions with the local authorities and closely monitor the situation.” Local authorities hope the impending sale of the circuit will help calm security fears for future events . The city of Sao Paulo is in talks with at least three interested parties.
Partial amnesty over Northern Ireland for security forces ‘hard to administer’
A partial amnesty for police and soldiers’ actions during the Northern Ireland conflict would be difficult to administer, the country’s top prosecutor said. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/partial-amnesty-over-northern-ireland-for-security-forces-hard-to-administer-36369190.html
A partial amnesty for police and soldiers’ actions during the Northern Ireland conflict would be difficult to administer, the country’s top prosecutor said. Sinn Fein and the Irish government have objected after some MPs called for a “statute of limitations” law . Proposals on addressing the legacy of deaths and injuries during Northern Ireland’s 30 years of violence have not yet been published.
Departing Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory QC said a partial safeguard from prosecution favouring the security forces would be legally questionable. He said: “As DPP, a partial amnesty would be difficult to administer . I t would certainly invite challenges but it is not for me to say whether it is legal or not.
“If it is a statute, it is a statute so it will have gone through parliament.
“In terms of the international legality of it, it would be questionable.”
MPs from the House of Commons Defence Committee have called for the blocking of prosecutions. Veterans have argued that it was unfair to charge pensioners over crimes committed early in the conflict.
The UK Government has said its preferred option for addressing the past is the 2014 Stormont House Agreement between the local parties, which did not include the proposal envisaged by some Conservative MPs. Their opinions are well-known, including within Government. Stormont House included a range of measures to address the past, including an Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) to search for new opportunities to prosecute.
It also envisaged a Commission on Information Retrieval whereby relatives of the dead and injured could privately receive information about the deaths of their loved ones . Its information would be inadmissible for criminal legal proceedings. Mr McGrory said around a quarter of his total workload was taken up with dealing with legacy issues.
He added: “The last 18 months the legal landscape from a prosecutorial perspective has become increasingly dominated by legacy, it is taking up a significant amount of time.”
He said as part of any implementation of the Stormont House Agreement resources would be made available to his successor to deal with the flow of cases referred by HIU investigators.
“That will very significantly increase the workload on the PPS as far as legacy is concerned.
“It would be utterly unsustainable under the current resource pot.
“I would expect that of the pot of money set aside to implement the Stormont House Agreement a significant amount of it would come our way but it will still nevertheless be a significant burden on the prosecutor’s office.”
Republic vows to oppose amnesty for Troubles security forces
The Irish government will oppose any form of amnesty for security force members as part of measures to address the legacy of the Troubles. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/republic-vows-to-oppose-amnesty-for-troubles-security-forces-36342375.html
The Irish government will oppose any form of amnesty for security force members as part of measures to address the legacy of the Troubles. Dublin last night pledged to challenge the statute of limitations proposal which is to be floated in a British Government public consultation document.
Human rights and victims groups also came out strongly against the move. An Irish Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman warned it would “not look favourably” on any form of amnesty for security forces or paramilitaries.
“There are no amnesties from prosecution provided for in the Good Friday Agreement or any subsequent agreements including the Stormont House Agreement,” he said.
“The government’s position is and will remain that the rule of law, including the requirement under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, for effective investigations of unlawful killings, must be upheld by all responsible authorities.” Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams accused London of an “act of bad faith” and said neither his party nor the Irish government had been consulted about the proposal while the SDLP and Alliance also voiced their opposition. Amnesty International said any statute of limitations imposed to block investigations for killings or torture carried out by the security forces would be “an utter betrayal of victims’ fundamental rights to justice”.
Relatives For Justice said the proposal was “a slap in the face to victims of state violence – it once again casts them as second class citizens”. A range of mechanisms to deal with the Troubles legacy were agreed by the parties in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement – an amnesty was not among them. The agreed proposals included a new independent investigatory unit, a truth recovery body and an oral archive.
They were put on hold due to ongoing political disagreement with republicans fearing the UK Government would cite national security as a reason to withhold documents from victims’ families. Secretary of State James Brokenshire announced in September that he was planning to launch a public consultation exercise in an attempt to move the situation on. It was expected to focus on the Stormont House Agreement mechanisms, but Sinn Fein emerged from its meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May (above) yesterday claiming that a new statute of limitation proposal had been inserted into the consultation document.
A Northern Ireland Office spokesman said the Government believed the Stormont House Agreement proposals still represented the “best means” to address legacy issues. However, he said that for it to be an “open and meaningful consultation” the public should have its say on alternative approaches, such as the statute of limitations proposal. Support for an amnesty is strong among DUP and Tory MPs . However, UUP MLA Doug Beattie (inset) said legal experts believed it would “inevitably have to be extended to cover all Troubles-related deaths and open the door to a general amnesty for everyone, including terrorists”.
He added: “We need to be very careful that in our desire to prevent former police officers and soldiers from being the victims of a witch hunt, we do not inadvertently open the door to an amnesty for the very terrorists they risked their lives to defeat.”
SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly added: “The British Government cannot allow any amnesty for any violent perpetrators.
“Victims and survivors of the Troubles deserve truth and justice . The British state and others must deliver that justice .
No-one should be off-limits to the rule of law.” Alliance Leader Naomi Long said: “Justice and the rule of law cannot be adjusted to make people differently accountable for their actions.
“In all cases, we should follow the evidence to wherever that leads.
“Members of the armed forces should be treated exactly the same as anyone else in a similar situation.”