Finucane 'shot 22 times'

A loyalist accused of murdering Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane in 1989 admitted that he was 'massacred' in a taped confession, a court was told today.

Ken Barrett was appearing in a bail hearing before Mr Justice Kerr when details of the prosecution case emerged:

An undercover officer asked him about the Finucane murder and he said: "It wasn't the first occasion I done it. It was just that he got so much publicity because he was a republican solicitor.

"He was an IRA man and all that. He was in the media and to be honest... he believed he could not be touched.

"He hadn't really got shot. He got fucking massacred. He was hit 22 times. I have to be honest I whacked a few people in the past. People say to me how do you sleep. I sleep fine."

Mr Kerr said Barret had also sought to justify the Finucane killing. The court heard that he said: "Finucane was up to his neck in it," and named other persons as being involved in the murder.

All of those involved in the killing were acting in collusion with the RUC police and a notorious British military intelligence, the FRU.

It was soon after the murder of Billy Stobie in 1999 -- he had been cleared a few week earlier of the Finucane murder when the case against him collapsed -- that a campaign began against Barret accusing him of being an agent.

It was then that he was moved to a safe house in England as his life was under threat.

The admission followed on admissions made by Barret in the BBC Panorama programme "Licence to Murder".

Barrett had claimed the go-ahead for the shooting was given after army agent Brian Nelson had passed on a photograph of Mr Finucane.

"We decided he was going down and that's the end of it," Barrett said on camera.

Barrett continues to deny the allegations, alleging an entrapment operation which he had gone along with in order to get money.

Bail was denied.

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