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Norris: Unpublished Nawi letters are covered by legal privilege

Senator David Norris says more letters seeking clemency for Ezra Nawi are covered by “professional legal privilege”.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE David Norris says he is forbidden from releasing other letters seeking clemency for his former partner, Ezra Nawi, as a result of legal privilege.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Pat Kenny, Norris said that the letters – which were written at the same time as the already-published letter to an Israeli court seeking clemency for Nawi – were subject to confidentiality.

Norris insisted that the letters were “substantially the same” as the letter – written on Seanad notepaper – to that Israeli court, which was preparing to sentence Nawi for the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy.

That letter, released on the weekend before he called a halt to his original presidential campaign in August, was written to the members of the Israeli High Court in August 1997.

A barrister involved in Norris’s campaign had told this morning’s edition of the Irish Daily Star that the six unpublished letters could potentially lead to a defamation case on the part of Nawi’s victim.

Another spokesman had told the Sunday Times that five of the six letters were all “almost identical” to the ones published in August, but that he was “not at liberty” to release them.

Norris this morning asserted that he “abhorred with every fibre of my being” the sexual abuse of children, and said he had “publicly apologised for that error of judgement… it’s on the public record, and I think we need to move on”.

“I think I’m the most transparent person in politics today,” he added.

The senator added that he had written “thousands” of similar letters to other people on a range of subjects, including human rights abuses in East Timor.

Barrister Muireann Noonan, who had been quoted in this morning’s article in the Star, could not be contacted for comment this morning.

Norris secured his place on the ballot paper for this year’s presidential election yesterday when he won the nomination of Dublin City Council, his fourth local authority.

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In full: TheJournal.ie’s coverage of the Race for the Áras >

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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