Sinn Fein leader held for 2nd day over IRA killing

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AAA May. 1, 2014 5:21 AM ET
Sinn Fein leader held for 2nd day over IRA killing

FILE- In this Monday, May 31, 1999 file photo, Helen McHendry and husband Seamus find the agonizing wait for the recovery of Helen’s mother all too much as Irish police continue to search for the body of her mother, Jean Mc Conville, in Dundalk, Irish Republic. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

FILE- In this Monday, May 31, 1999 file photo, Helen McHendry and husband Seamus find the agonizing wait for the recovery of Helen’s mother all too much as Irish police continue to search for the body of her mother, Jean Mc Conville, in Dundalk, Irish Republic. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

FILE – In this Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008 file photo, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, right, carries the coffin of senior IRA commander Brendan Hughes, in west Belfast, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. Adams was implicated in the killing by two IRA veterans, who gave taped interviews to researchers for a Boston College history archive on the four-decade Northern Ireland conflict. Belfast police waged a two-year legal fight in the United States to acquire the interviews, parts of which already were published after the 2008 death of one IRA interviewee, Brendan Hughes. Boston College immediately handed over the Hughes tapes. The college and researchers fought unsuccessfully to avoid handover tapes of the second IRA interviewee, Dolours Price, who died last year. Both Hughes and Price agreed to be interviewed on condition that their contents were kept confidential until their deaths. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

FILE – In this Thursday Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Helen McKendry holds a family photograph showing her mother Jean McConcille, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

A Police vechicle leaves Antrim Police station in Northern Ireland, Wednesday, April, 30, 2014. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been arrested and is being questioned at Antrim police station about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

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DUBLIN (AP) — Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams remained in police custody for a second day Thursday as detectives questioned him over his alleged role in the Irish Republican Army’s abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast mother of 10 in 1972.

Senior politicians in Adams’ Irish nationalist party said they hoped he would be released soon without charge and accused British authorities of timing Wednesday’s arrest to undermine Sinn Fein’s campaigning in elections taking place in both parts of Ireland later this month.

Under Northern Ireland’s anti-terrorist law Adams can be held until Friday night, by which time police must release or charge him, or seek a judicial extension to his custody.

Adams, 65, has always denied any role in the outlawed IRA, but every credible history of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement has identified him as a senior commander since the early 1970s. The IRA killed nearly 1,800 people from 1970 to 1997, when it ceased fire to permit Sinn Fein to pursue peace negotiations with Britain and leaders of Northern Ireland’s Protestant majority.

Former IRA members interviewed for a Boston College-commissioned research project have linked him to the slaying of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow whom the IRA branded a British spy. An investigation by Northern Ireland’s Police Ombudsman said there was no evidence that she was

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