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Northern Ireland waits for verdict in Adams arrest

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FILE – In this Thursday Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Helen McKendry holds a family photograph showing her mother Jean McConcille, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

FILE – In this Thursday Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Helen McKendry holds a family photograph showing her mother Jean McConcille, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

Michael McConville, the son of Jean McConville who was murdered by the IRA, speaks to the media at the Wave Trauma centre in Belfast, Thursday, May, 1, 2014. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is still being questioned by police at Antrim police station after being arrested late Wednesday in connection with the murder of Jean McConville. (AP Photo)

FILE- In this Monday, May 31, 1999 file photo, Helen McHendry and husband Seamus find the agonizing wait for the recovery of Helen’s mother all too much as Irish police continue to search for the body of her mother, Jean Mc Conville, in Dundalk, Irish Republic. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

FILE – In this Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008 file photo, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, right, carries the coffin of senior IRA commander Brendan Hughes, in west Belfast, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. Adams was implicated in the killing by two IRA veterans, who gave taped interviews to researchers for a Boston College history archive on the four-decade Northern Ireland conflict. Belfast police waged a two-year legal fight in the United States to acquire the interviews, parts of which already were published after the 2008 death of one IRA interviewee, Brendan Hughes. Boston College immediately handed over the Hughes tapes. The college and researchers fought unsuccessfully to avoid handover tapes of the second IRA interviewee, Dolours Price, who died last year. Both Hughes and Price agreed to be interviewed on condition that their contents were kept confidential until their deaths. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

The heavily fortified Police station in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Thursday, May, 1 2014. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been arrested and is being questioned at Antrim police station about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

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BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — Northern Ireland is waiting. The country’s most famous — and infamous — politician could be charged over a decades-old slaying of a Belfast mother of 10, or walk away a free man.

The outcome from a three-day police interrogation of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is expected Friday. The children of Jean McConville want Europe’s longest-serving party leader to be charged with her murder, 42 years after the Irish Republican Army dragged the widow from her Belfast home, shot her in the head and dumped her in an unmarked grave.

Senior figures in Adams’ Irish nationalist party say he should be freed without charge because there’s no firm evidence against him. They say Wednesday’s arrest was timed chiefly to tarnish their image and damage their prospects in elections in both parts of Ireland this month.

Under British anti-terrorist law Adams, 65, must be charged or released by Friday night, unless a judge approves an extension.

Adams, who has been Sinn Fein leader since 1983, denies any role in the IRA. But former members who spoke on tape to a Boston College-commissioned research project say he was the outlawed group’s Belfast commander in 1972 and ordered the killing

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