The questioning by Northern Irish police of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has led to accusations from his supporters that his detention is politically motivated.
Adams is being interviewed in relation to the killing of Jean McConville by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1973. He has denied involvement in McConville’s death.
Justice Minister David Ford said that the police was just doing its job and pointed out that Adams had volunteered himself for questioning.
Ford told reporters: “The is no ‘cabal’, there is no group of people on the dark side. There is a single police service meeting the needs and protecting society.”
Martin McGuiness, Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister and Sinn , told a Belfast rally that the police were using Adams to “settle old scores”.
“The dark side of policing fear him and they fear us. That’s why they do what they do. But we’re here today to stand with our friend, to stand with our colleague, to stand with our leader [Gerry Adams],” McGuiness told supporters.
The police has until the evening of Sunday, May 2 to either charge or release Adams.