Finucane family granted leave to apply for review
Finucane family granted leave to apply for review

The High Court in Belfast has allowed the Finucane family to proceed with their case to force the British government to publish the Cory Report.

The British government was accused yesterday of adding to the grief of the family by delaying publication of report into allegations of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and British forces in his killing.

Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane was shot dead in front of his family in 1989 by a death squad acting with the support of the RUC police Special Branch and the British military intelligence.

Mrs Finucane, who was injured when UDA gunmen murdered her husband, is also seeking an order compelling Mr Murphy to indicate the report's recommendations and to declare her entitlement to see the report.

Judge Cory, retired from the Canadian Supreme Court, recently contacted the Finucane family, and the families of three other murder victims. He told them he had recommended that inquiries should be held into all four cases.

Seamus Treacy, QC, said the British government's ``unconscionable delay'' in publication of the report and its recommendations had undermined pubic confidence in the administration of justice.

He said it had also led to the loss of vital evidence following the murder of William Stobie and the reported death of Brian Nelson, whom he described as ``another central character.'' Mr Treacy said the British Government's stance was in stark contrast to the Irish government's decision to publish Judge Cory's reports concerning the murders of Chief Supt Breen, Supt Buchanan and Lord Justice and Lady Gibson.

``It also stands in stark contrast to the decision of Judge Cory himself who was driven to contact the families of those affected by his report to inform them that he had recommended public inquiries,'' said Mr Treacy.

``He told Michael Finucane, Pat Finucane's son, that he did not think it fair to make the families wait any longer to learn of his recommendation that there should be public inquiries. The approach of the British government to publication of the report is in keeping with their response so far to the murder of Mr Finucane which has been found by the European Court of Human Rights to have been characterised by delay, obfuscation and a reluctance to see the truth revealed.''

Outside the court, Mr Finucane's brother Martin said he welcomed the judge's decision. ``It puts increased pressure on the British government to publish the report,'' he said.

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast welcomed the decision. But he said it was a ``disgrace'' that the family were forced into the action..

``After the Weston Park talks Tony Blair publicly committed himself to publishing Judge Cory's Report and more importantly acting on its recommendations.

``The British Government have been in possession of the Cory Report since last October. They are hiding behind security and legal matters in yet another stalling exercise to prevent the truth about their involvement in a collusion policy from coming out.

``This situation is not tenable.

``The British Government need to realise that the families of those killed through collusion will not simply stop demanding answers and demanding the truth.''

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