EXCLUSIVE: FORMER IRA supegrass Raymond Gilmour is at loggerheads with the PSNI over plans to interview him about Provo murders and bombings ordered by Martin McGuinness.
The former RUC Special Branch agent told Belfast Daily that he wanted to return to Northern Ireland to conduct the interviews.
The interviews were due to take place under caution at the serious crime suite in Antrim within the next few weeks.
However, a senior detective from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit (TIU) assigned to the case has told Gilmour’s Belfast-based solicitor that the interviews will be conducted at a high security police in London under caution.
The senior investigating officer told the solicitor: ‘It would be very difficult to guarantee his safety if he returned to Northern Ireland’.
But Gilmour is refusing to accept the London police station offer over fears for his safety, saying the interviews should be conducted in Northern Ireland.
“The offences I want to talk to the PSNI about were committed in Northern Ireland,” Gilmour told Belfast Daily from his secret hideaway address in England.
“So I believe the proper place to conduct the interviews is Northern Ireland.
“At the end of the day, if they want to check anything I say they can’t go an look it up on a Scotland Yard computer because they are not linked to the PSNI. The whole interview process would just go on and on.
“This has been dragging on over three months now and I don’t why know they have been dragging their feet but I believe it is political because McGuinness is the deputy first minister.
“I want to tell the PSNI about murders Martin McGuinness ordered back in the 1970s and 1980s.
“The PSNI officer even had the cheek to ask my solicitor: is this a publicity stunt?
“I mean, where do these guys get off? The information I want to give could put senior IRA figures in Derry, including McGuinness, and they accuse me of a publicity stunt.
“At the end of the day, if the interviews don’t take place in Northern Ireland, they won’t take place at all.
“They can bring 1,200 police from GB to help them out on loyalist parades but they can’t guarantee the safety of one person.
“I have told the senior detective I don’t need PSNI security protection in Northern Ireland.
“I will come back under the protection of trusted former RUC officers who will provide me a safe house.
“I told him that the PSNI has been heavily infiltrated by republicans who dance to the tune of Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly.
“The whole security thing is a smokescreen. I am firmly convinced this is political policing and what I have to say it so explosive that it would be damaging to the peace process,” added Gilmour.
In June, Belfast Daily revealed Gilmour contacted the Ombudsman to make a complaint against a senior detective in the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit, Chief Supt Tim Hanley.
The 54-year-old said the PSNI were refusing to interview him even though two weeks ago DCS Hanley told his solicitor that he would be brought back to Northern Ireland to assist an investigation into IRA activities in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Gilmour told Belfast Daily at the time: “My solicitor contacted Detective Chief Supt Tim Hanley of the PSNI two weeks ago and arranged a face-to-face meeting.
“He met DCS Hanley at Castlereagh police station and my solicitor outlined what I wanted to tell the PSNI about Martin McGuinness and others in relation to IRA murders, shootings and bombings.
“It was agreed that the PSNI would put me in a witness protection scheme and that I would be brought back to Northern Ireland.
“It was agreed that I would be cautioned before I was interviewed and it was expected to last a couple of days.
“Only last week I was told that my local Special Branch would be in contact with me about my own personal security arrangements.”
Gilmour said his solicitor was told by DCS Hanley that he would get back in touch with him to finalise arrangements for his trip to Belfast.
“My solicitor rang the senior detective on Friday and he tells me DCS Hanley basically hung up the phone on him, saying he couldn’t talk, he was too busy and was in a meeting.
“I can tell you my solicitor is absolutely raging at the way he was treated.
“When my solicitor first met DCS Hanley he was enthusiastic and all up for interviewing me, according to my solicitor.
“Now I suspect someone somewhere in a corridor of power either in Belfast or London has put the brakes on the police interviewing me about McGuinness.
“Basically, the PSNI are now refusing to interview me because if they did then they would have to arrest Martin McGuinness. They are running scared as far as I am concerned.
“I contacted the office of the Police Ombudsman and explained my complaint. They will be travelling to England to formally interview me about it in due course.
“In my opinion, this is political policing whether the PSNI like it or not.
“The PSNI looked bad after the whole Gerry Adams saga and they don’t want to get slated again if they have to go and arrest the Deputy First Minister and his big mate Bobby Storey.”
Gilmour lit the blue touch paper in May when he published his explosive new book ‘What Price Truth?’
He told us he decided to “lift the lid on atrocities carried out by the IRA’s Derry Brigade’’ following publication of his first story on the Belfast Daily days earlier.
He said he has been “inundated’’ with messages of support after he revealed to Belfast Daily that he would tell the PSNI that deputy first minister Martin McGuinness ordered a number of murders in Derry stretching back over 30 years.
He says he wants to pass the names of McGuinness, Bobby Storey and six other IRA men in Derry to police.
Gilmour says he says he has the names of those who murdered:
• British soldier Christopher Shenton, 21, shot dead by an IRA sniper in January 1981 as he manned an observation post at Castle Gates , Derry which overlooked the republican Bogside district;
• Protestant Joanne Matthers, a Census worker. Mrs Mathers was shot dead in Gobnascale’s Anderson Crescent in Derry as she collected forms in 1981.
• David Montgomery who was shot dead in February 1981 at Keys timber yard in Derry. Gilmour also says he knows the identity of the killers. “One of them bragged about the shooting at an IRA meeting the next day. They had been doing dry runs the timber yard in the weeks leading up to the murder.’’
• Lord Louis Mountbatteen in 1979 in Co Sligo by planting a bomb on his boat.
Gilmour told Belfast Daily: “Thirty years ago when I was making statements to the RUC Special Branch and CID, nobody was interested in Martin McGuinness.
“Everything was being pointed away from him. Somebody had to be protecting him in the security services. You can’t be the top dog in Derry for all that time and never get charged.
“Now I am going to be asking the PSNI through my solicitor in Belfast to come and interview me about what I know happened all those years ago.
“I want this to be a fresh approach to what happened. I have the names of those involved in these murders, some of whom are leading political figures in Sinn Fein.
“These families deserve to know the real truth and also get justice.’’
Recently Gilmour was chaperoned in England by ex-security force members to meet English police officers to talk about IRA murders carried out in London and Birmigham.
He says that talking about his former past has helped to unburdened him of secrets he has known about since the late 1970s and early 1980s.
“The more I have opened up about what happened all those years ago, the better I feel.
“These people in Sinn Fein and the IRA should not be allowed to get away scot free for carrying out cold blooded murders.
“Sinn Fein and the IRA are always trying to discredit me. Why? Because they know that I know the truth.
“When I was a supergrass in the early 1980s, I wrecked the IRA in Derry. I brought them to their knees.
“Now I intend to do the same. And this time I want to see Martin McGuinnnes in the dock because he has the blood of a lot of victims on his hands.’’
Sinn Fein has refused to comment on ‘What Price Truth?’, Gilmour’s follow up to his 1998 book ‘Dead Ground’.
However, Belfast Daily revealed in May that a solicitor acting for Martin McGuinness was considered seeking a High Court injunction to restrain ‘What Price Truth?’ from being published any further.
* ‘What Price Truth?’ is now available to download on Amazon Kindle and some bookshops.