Ian Paisley Jr. fined for hiding source

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, June 30 (UPI) -- A judge in Northern Ireland ordered Ian Paisley Jr. to pay a fine Tuesday for refusing to name the prison officer who told him files had been destroyed.

The files involved the killing of Billy Wright, a loyalist paramilitary leader shot at the Maze prison in 1997 by members of the Irish National Liberation Army.


The fine was set at 5,000 pounds ($7,500), The Belfast Telegraph reported. The judge said it would be a "recipe for legal anarchy if individuals could decide to pick and choose with impunity those laws which they choose to obey and those laws they defy."

Paisley is a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Democratic Unionist Party. His father, who founded the party, accompanied him to court.

The judge could have imposed a jail sentence. After Tuesday's hearing, Paisley criticized John Larkin, head of the Billy Wright Inquiry and expected to be the first attorney general for Northern Ireland in a generation, for saying Monday in court that Paisley would "relish" being sent to prison.

"I know what it's like to have a parent in jail," Paisley, a father of four, said.


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