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Solicitor criticises PSNI following arrest of a man in Derry yesterday

Man has been released on bail pending further enquiries

Man arrested after man found with critical injuries

The solicitor of a man arrested in Derry yesterday has accused the PSNI of misusing police powers.

The PSNI said the 45-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of offences committed under Gaming and Lotteries legislation and possession of Class B controlled drugs.

A police spokesperson said the arrest was part of an 'ongoing investigation into an unregistered lottery controlled by the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association, which supports persons convicted of terrorist offences committed on behalf of the New IRA'.

The man was later released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The man's solicitor, Ciaran Shiels, of Madden & Fnucane solicitors, has criticised the manner of his arrest.

Mr Shiels said he was was arrested under PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence) legislation and detained in Strand Road police station.

“He was interviewed for 40 minutes about involvement in a local lottery for dependants of republican ex-prisoners and prisoners on remand still entitled to the presumption of innocence awaiting trial,” he said.

“At no time was it put to our client or even detailed in the Custody Record that this arrest was part of an anti-terrorism investigation. These allegations simply did not feature today.”

During a court hearing at the weekend, Mr Shiels also questioned a decision by the PSNI and gardai to link a series of arrests in Derry last week to INLA activity.

“There is a repetitive picture now emerging of using ‘ordinary’ legislation to arrest and interview suspects, whilst senior PSNI officers make much more serious allegations in respect of them to the media, irrespective of whether they are even charged or any sensitive areas where they reside in the community," said the solicitor.

“Like the individuals last week who were arrested primarily in respect of offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act, outside of the PSNI station, senior PSNI officers and Gardaí were labelling all of those in custody as being involved in alleged INLA drug dealing and financing, but never putting these allegations to them even once in the interviews under caution so they could at least refute the allegations formally with a view to making representations to the Police Custody Sergeant.”

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