Strasbourg-Brief for Attorney General

Brief for the British Attorney General (AG) in preparation for the 'Irish state case' (the Hooded Men) from September 1972 from DS10 (the Defence Secretariat at the MoD in London). Of interest is the disinformation provided to the AG, the most senior law officer in Britain, by the Ministry of Defence.

At para 4 it is claimed that Ballykelly only became operational 'about 17 Sept 1971'. This was a lie. As the PFC has already revealed, from other declassified documents, the Hooded Men were in fact tortured at Ballykelly in August 1971.…

The brief also touches on other aspects of the Irish complaint to the European Commission for Human Rights and later to the European Court of Human Rights. This explains the reference to 'the practice of banging binlids' and may refer to the killing of Joseph Murphy in the Ballymurphy Massacre in August 1971.

The PHCs referred to in the brief were the Police Holding Centres, ie interrogation centres. The document states that medical examinations of detainees on entry and release were NOT carried out until Oct 28 1971,  This contradicts other assertions. 

It is also striking that the MRF (Military Reaction Force) had a base within the Holywood interrogation centre. See para e. The MRF was a counter-gang involved in assassinations throughout the city of Belfast and was modelled on similar units in Cyprus, Palestine etc. See also free downloadable Counter-Gangs booklet on

The final document (scroll down) marked 'INVESTIGATIONS ON THE GROUND' was intended to ensure that any attempt by the European Commission of Human Rights to carry out a site visit to the North in the ECHR's investigation into torture would inevitably fail. Even had such a visit taken place Ballykelly, the actual location of the torture would not have been on the itinerary since its existence was hidden from the Commission, the Court and the plaintiff - the Irish Government.

Britain was arguing that the republic was harbouring the IRA thus the bizarre reference to any delegation visiting the south in option 3.        


Strasbourg brief for attorney general.pdf784.43 KB