Gerry Adams

Credit: Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams, member of the Irish parliament for Louth and president of Sinn Féin, was arrested yesterday in connection with the investigation of the murder of Jean McConville in 1972. The exact procedural posture of the case is a little unclear to me: on the one hand, the news reports make it clear that Mr. Adams was arrested. On the other hand, the Guardian article, for example, suggests that he has not yet been charged. I am not confident that criminal procedure in Northern Ireland is similar enough to criminal procedure in the United States to give me any ability to understand where things stand. UK readers, please chime in!

I think, though, we can draw at least one conclusion from the latest development. The PSNI is loaded for bear. I have to think that a decision to arrest Mr. Adams was made at a very high level, and I have to think that the PSNI wouldn’t have made the arrest unless it thinks it has some pretty good evidence. Time will tell.