Police get extra 48 hours to question Gerry Adams

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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 police were granted an extra 48 hours Friday to interrogate Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams about the 1972 IRA killing of a Belfast widow, infuriating his Irish nationalist party and raising questions about the stability of the province’s Catholic-Protestant government.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed in a statement its detectives received permission at a closed-door hearing with a judge to detain Adams for up to two more days.

Had the request been refused, authorities would have been required to charge Adams or release him Friday night, two days after his arrest in the abduction, slaying and secret burial of Jean McConville, a mother of 10. The new deadline is Sunday night, although this too could be extended with judicial permission.

The unexpectedly long detention of Adams left senior party colleagues seething. Sinn Fein warned it could end its support for law and order in Northern Ireland — a key peacemaking commitment that enabled the creation of a unity government seven years ago — if Adams is charged.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein official who governs Northern Ireland alongside British Protestant politicians, said his party would reconsider its 2007 vote to

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