21st January 2006, McKevitt & Sands Family statement
It was recently reported by various media, that Michael McKevitt was “convicted of directing terrorism at the time of Omagh.” This is factually inaccurate. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the media have carried false and misleading reports about Michael. Therefore we feel it is necessary for us to clarify. The period that Michael was convicted of was September 1999 to October 2000 – over a year later than the date of the bombing.
Michael was convicted on the sole evidence of paid career informant David Rupert whose total take as a result of the conviction has been estimated at around $5 million.This consists of an acknowledged $1.5 million from the FBI up to the year 2000, plus a similar payment from MI5 through the pro rata agreement for services to them, plus a reported $50,000 per month for life and a substantial percentage of the profits of a book on his life and times in Ireland being ghost-written by two US journalists. Much of these payments were dependent on the conviction of Michael McKevitt. Acquittal in the trial would have been a financial disaster for David Rupert. It also would have been a major embarrassment for MI5, the FBI the Gardai and the Irish DPP’s office.
The Mc Kevitt and Sands families welcome any details from MI5 about its agent David Rupert while under MI5 employ in Ireland and in particular, his and MI5’s role in the Omagh bombing.
Furthermore, we welcome any details on who authorized a foreign agency to spy on Irish citizens in Ireland.