British forces have said they will not disclose information to those injured in the ambush and murder of Lurgan man Sam Marshall in March 1990.
Mr Marshall was shot dead in a loyalist ambush outside Lurgan RUC station, County Armagh, as eight undercover British soldiers were deployed nearby.
He and prominent republican Colin Duffy and the dead man’s brother-in-law Tony McCaughey, had just left an RUC station following a routine appointment when they were attacked.
The barrister for the British Crown forces,, Mark Robinson, said he would be contesting any application to give the other two men status at the inquest, which means their lawyers would have access to secret files.
“At this stage they are simply only witnesses and therefore disclosure should only be to the properly interested parties,” he said.
Peter Corrigan, representing both Mr Duffy and Mr McCaughey, told the coroner’s court his clients should have access to the documents detailing the ambush.
“The state, we would say, is playing an active part in colluding to murder them in the same incident,” Mr Corrigan said. “They are not witnesses, they are victims”.
Mr Duffy and Mr McCaughey were lucky to escape with their lives when fifty shots were fired at the three men.
As the attack took place, two plain-clothed British oldiers with camera equipment were stationed at an observation post at the entrance to the police station. A British Army commander was monitoring events from a remote location as the trio arrived at the barracks, as part of bail arrangements related to legal proceedings.
Two soldiers followed them on foot as they left and also witnessed the shooting.
Incredibly, all the RUC and undercover soldiers present have claimed they had no prior knowledge of the loyalist attack.
Mr Corrigan argued that his clients should at least be accorded full legal standing during the inquest and given access to relevant documents.
He said they were the subjects of attempted murder bids and this was key to the inquest’s deliberations.
“So they have certainly an interest in these matters, they were part of the issues in relation to the surveillance when the matters took place, they were shot at themselves,” he said.