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Republicans warned over 'on the run' letters

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has said republicans suspected of crimes committed during the Troubles should "no longer draw comfort" from letters informing them that police were no longer pursuing them.

The minister told a Westminster committee that she had to clarify the status of the so-called 'letters of comfort' after a judge-led review called their accuracy into question.

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Villiers: 'No one should rely on' letters of comfort

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has said that individuals with so-called 'letters of comfort' would be treated by the authorities in exactly the same way as individuals who did not have one.

No one should take any comfort from these letters. No one should rely on them ...

Decisions of the independent police and prosecuting authorities on whether individuals are prosecuted will be on the basis of decisions made now, not decisions made at some point in the past. And those decisions will be made on the basis of all the available evidence.

To all those who have a letter I say - if the police or prosecuting authorities have evidence which is available today or becomes available in the future to pursue you, they can and will pursue you.

– Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers

Ms Villiers said she would make a fuller written statement to Parliament in "the coming days".

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