British govt sits on Cory report

Pressure is growing on the British government to publish a report into some of the most controversial killings of the troubles.

It has been reported that Canadian Judge Peter Cory has recommended public inquiries into the murders of Patrick Finucane in 1989, Rosemary Nelson in 1999, Robert Hamill in 1997 and Billy Wright, also in 1997.

Finucane and Nelson were prominent defence lawyers, Hamill a Portadown man beaten to death despite the presence of RUC police, and Wright was a loyalist paramilitary leader. Collusion of British forces at varying levels has been alleged in each case.

Suspicion that collusion in the North of Ireland continues today has not been assuaged following allegations that parts of the Cory report are being censored prior to its release.

The British Government has claimed it is considering the legal and security implications of publishing the judge's findings.

But ome of the relatives of those killed have demanded to know why the British government has not yet made the report public. The Finucane and Wright families said they have a right to know what Justice Cory has said.

They are also epxressed concern about how the Government will seek to implement the decisions of the international judge and want to know if they will opt for four separate public inquiries or adopt another approach.

Martin Finucane, whose brother Patrick, was shot dead by the UDA in 1989, accused the British government of having gone back on written assurances that the findings of Mr Cory's reports would be discussed with the families of those who had been murdered, before any announcement to the media or the public.

``In September secretary of state Paul Murphy told us in writing that the families would be informed about Judge Cory's reports before there was any public announcement,'' he said.

``But it appears now that the British government has gone back on that promise and has instead briefed the media about Mr Cory's findings before the families. Our family finds that utterly reprehensible and a total breach of trust What is needed now is for the families of those involved to be told what is going on.''

Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy warned that the British government could not continue stalling on publication of Judge Cory's reports.

``The last obstacle put in the place of these families' search for the truth has been removed,'' he said.

``These families should not have had to go through this process in the first place. The validity of their cases is well known. The British government have stalled their search for the truth for long enough.''

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