Judge Peter Cory has suggested he may defy the British government by making public his reports into cases of collusion in murder by the British Crown forces.
He suggested he may make ``more noise'', if the government continues to refuse to publish his reports into the murders of defence lawyers Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson; unionist paramilitary leader Billy Wright; and Portadown Catholic Robert Hamill.
Judge Cory told the Toronto Globe: ``I have made noises that I considered appropriate... and there may come a time when I make more noise.
``There will come a time when, perhaps, I will say there has been a breach of their undertaking to me and ? more importantly ? to victims' families.''
In an interview in a Canadian newspaper, the judge also explained why he had already defied the government by revealing his recommendations to victims' families.
``I said, in light of media reports that were increasing the concerns of the families, in the name of humanity, couldn't they (the government) simply make the bottom line public?
``I said I would have no alternative to make it public, if they didn't. And I did.''
The judge is being hailed in human rights circles as a courageous figure who refused to stand by while the British government suppressed the report.
``It was a dirty job, but I did it because I felt it would help the peace process,'' Judge Cory said.
``I don't think the significance and magnitude of what he did has been sufficiently understood,'' said Michael Finucane, the son of one of the victims. ``It was an absolutely astounding thing to do. The courage of that man, in the face of the British government trying to intimidate and shut him up, really staggers the imagination.''
Mr. Finucane's father, Pat, was a lawyer who was shot him in front of his family in 1989 by a death squad acting in tandem with the FRU, a shadowy British military unit.
``My family has had many meetings over the years with British officials, including Prime Minister Blair,'' Mr. Finucane said. ``Not one of them ever apologized. They just sat behind their desk, surrounded by grey-suited mandarins, and spun a political line, playing their bent and crooked games.
``It is particularly insensitive and upsetting that those of us most directly affected are still waiting for a scintilla of information. Judge Cory is the only person we had dealt with in 15 years who was absolutely straight and up front. . . . My family cannot thank him enough.''