17 March 2006

McCartney and Rafferty families look to freeze SF assets

Irsih Independent

Friday March 17th 2006 19:14

The killings of Dublin man Joseph Rafferty and Robert McCartney have been raised in the White House during talks between the Taoiseach and US President George Bush.

It is understood that both families have begun moves to freeze Sinn Fein's assets in the US until the party identifies those responsible for the murders of the two men.

The families are believed to have had discussions with Washington-based lawyers Powell Goldstein.

Mr McCartney's sister Catherine said the Republican Movement was ``impeding justice``, while her emotional mother Kathleen said the past year had been a nightmare.

Ms McCartney said: ``Robert's murderers are still being protected by Sinn Fein and the IRA. The republican movement have not just done absolutely nothing, they're actually impeding and frustrating justice.

``To sit back and do nothing is not good in itself but to actively impede justice is a far more serious case.''

Fianna Fail councillor Gary Keegan, who is supporting the Rafferty family's case, said: ``We met a law firm here yesterday and we are exploring legal avenues. For example, Sinn Fein are registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act here.

``There is a precedent for organisations that are proven or suspected to be implicated in illegal activity that their assets can be frozen and fundraising endeavours suspended pending the outcome of the case.''

Ms McCartney added: ``I don't think either family has any interest in fundraising but if we can use that to put pressure on the leadership to make the murderers come forward then we will do it.''

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