Irish Republican News · September 16, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: UVF murder OK - IMC
UVF murder OK - IMC
bobbymoffett.jpg

British military intelligence has said no sanctions should be placed on the UVF despite the unionist paramilitary group murdering a man while supposedly on “ceasefire”.

Bobby Moffett was shot in broad daylight in front of shoppers on the Shankill Road in west Belfast in May. Two masked men wearing high-visibility jackets approached the 43-year-old from behind and shot him once, causing him to fall to the ground. As he lay wounded they fired twice more at close range in front of horrified pedestrians.

A former UVF member, Moffett had been involved in a dispute with a senior member of the UVF. The killing was widely seen as a ‘show of strength’ by the UVF. Despite a public outcry, prganisations linked to the UVF have continued to receive millions of pounds in ‘peace funds’ from the Stormont administration.

A report into the murder by the MI5-linked ‘Independent Monitoring Commission’ defended the killing.

“He had behaved in ways which, in the eyes of the UVF, appeared to disregard the standing of the organisation, and he threatened some leading local figures in particular,” the report stated. “Killing Mr Moffett was a way of dealing with the perceived threat.”

It described the attack as a “one-off” and did not recommend any sanctions against the UVF or its political representatives, the Progressive Unionist Party.

SOLP leader Margaret Ritchie said the soft stance taken by the IMC sent out the wrong message.

“The fact that the IMC do not recommend to the secretary of state that the UVF’s ceasefire should be recategorlsed sends out very worrying signals,” she said.

“Does that mean that a planned killing is to be regarded as par for the course and acceptable?

“And of course it begs the question what actually does constitute a breach of ceasefire by the UVF?”

Sinn Fein assembly member Paul Maskey called for the IMC to be abolished, saying it served “little purpose”.

However, British Secretary Owen Paterson backed the IMC’s response.

“The conclusions of the IMC in respect of the behaviour of the UVF leadership are a challenge to the UVF leadership to renew their deter mination to deliver fully on their collective commitment to transform their organisation.”

© 2010 Irish Republican News