Collusion case reopened

A new investigation is to be made into a sectarian murder 16 years ago, following claims by a notorious loyalist killer that British Crown forces colluded in the killing.

The fresh police investigation was announced in the High Court today during an action brought by the widow of Dermott Hackett, who was shot by loyalists near Omagh in 1987.

Mrs Sylvia Hackett, from Belldoo, Strabane, was granted leave to apply for a judicial review of the failure or refusal of the British Secretary of State to carry out a thorough and effective investigation into her husband's murder.

Barrister Karen Quinlivan said Michael Stone claimed in his book, ``None Shall Divide Us,'' that he became involved in a conspiracy to murder Mr Hackett after seeing intelligence in security forces files.

``Michael Stone says that he subsequently pulled out of the assassination even though he was convicted of the murder,'' said Ms. Quinlivan.

``In essence he makes the case that he had access to security forces files and that there was security forces involvement in the murder.

Michael Stone may not be a reliable source but the matter needs to be investigated.''

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