More delays in Kelly case
More delays in Kelly case

Lawyers for the family of a murdered nationalist councillor have criticised new delays in their fight for an independent probe into his death.

A judicial review application into the refusal of the PSNI police to appoint outside investigators to examine the killing of Patrick Kelly 30 years ago was adjourned at the High Court in Belfast.

Kelly, who was 33 at the time, went missing after locking up the Corner Bar in Trillick, County Tyrone. His body was not found until three weeks later, when a fisherman spotted something on the surface of Lough Eyes, Co Fermanagh, almost ten miles away. Kelly had been shot several times. Two 56lb agricultural weights were attached to his body.

The unionist paramilitary UDA later claimed responsibility for the murder, but in 1999 a former British soldier named David Jordan publically confessed to witnessing the killing. Jordan reportedly broke down in a pub and wept as he named six of his colleagues in the UDR regiment saying they had carried out the attack.

The Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr ruled today the case should not proceed until a judgment emerges from a case at the House of Lords. That case involves an alleged `shoot-to-kill' -- the killing of Gervaise McKerr, one of three IRA Volunteers gunned down by British forces near Lurgan, County Armagh in 1982.

The decision means Mr Kelly's widow Teresa faces a further wait before she finds out if the action she brought last September will succeed.

Her barrister, Seamus Treacey QC, said earlier: ``One of the things the applicant was concerned about was that there may be significant delays.

``We are now in February and the very thing we had feared may happen has already come to pass and will be exacerbated by a further adjournment.

``The applicant and the family will be bitterly disappointed if this case is adjourned.''

No-one has ever been charged with the killing, but police launched a new investigation last July.

Mr Kelly's family have refused to back the PSNI inquiry, however, and have called on the PSNI to step aside to let an outside force examine the case.

Their legal battle opened in September but was adjourned to allow police time to respond to alleged contradictions in evidence.

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