Callinan Informants are difficult to handle

first_imgGARDA INFORMANTS ARE expressly forbidden to take part in any criminal activity, the Garda Commissioner has told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.Martin Callinan told the committee that the Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) system, the process by which the gardaí handle informants, is very clear what the requirements are in relation to handling of informants“It has to be said at the outset that these people are extremely difficult people to handle,” he said. “To have a very effective informant they have to be quite close to the bone so our agent handlers who are all trained in these matters have to walk a very fine line.”However, he said that rules of engagement are there and “they are very clear”. Informants are told at the outset that under no circumstances can they get involved with criminality – “that is a given”, said Callinan. Also, the force does not use ‘participating’ informants in this country.“I would expect that if a situation arises or develops where we did need to introduce an element of participation, it would be a matter of deferring to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” said the commissioner.An Garda Síochána does not give carte blanche to anyone to commit crime, he continued.ConcernsLast week, the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter expressed his concerns about that gardaí delayed its investigation into alleged collusion by members of the force with a known drug dealer.The Garda Ombudsman (GSOC) said it took four years to complete a probe into the accusations that members of the force colluded with Louth convict-turned-informant Kieran Boylan due to difficulties in obtaining evidence from gardaí.Callinan said he is absolutely subscribed to the view that the GSOC as a statutory body is fully entitled to see all of the information that the gardaí have available to them.He said that the gardaí have for quite some time now been engaged with the GSOC in the context of how they would safely pass on that type of information and how that information would be handled in the context of the ombudsman’s legal obligations.He said that in the course of the above investigation, 140 volumes of material were passed over to the ombudsman in addition to over 2000 documents, which in his view “shows a level of cooperation that is very substantial”.Deputy Shane Ross questioned if the gardaí are adhering to their own guidelines, and was told by Callinan that they have very clear guidelines and rules in relation to informants, and that GSOC is entitled to come in and investigate any cases where they believe there is a breach of those guidelines.Ross suggested the gardaí are not accountable in certain ways, but Callinan said they are fully accountable.Read: Gardaí ‘delayed’ giving evidence in informant collusion probe>last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *