Irish Republican News · March 8, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Finucane widow wins right to demand inquiry

The widow of murdered Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane has been granted permission to challenge the British government's failure to set up a public inquiry into the killing.

Geraldine Finucane was granted leave to apply for a judicial review in the belfast High Court, through which she hopes to force the creation of an inquiry into the murder 15 years ago.

Mr Finucane was shot dead in front of his family in his north Belfast home. There have been constant allegations of Crown force collusion with a loyalist death-squad in the murder.

During a brief hearing, Justice Gillen set a date of April 22nd for the application.

The proceedings were given the go-ahead a week after the same judge ``reluctantly'' agreed to a British government request for a three-week adjournment of a judicial review seeking to compel the British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy to publish a report into the killing and three other cases of alleged collusion.

The reports, produced by retired Canadian Supreme Court judge Peter Cory, were presented to the British government last October but have so far been suppressed.

At the hearing last week, a lawyer for the British government said it wanted the adjournment as work on preparing publication was continuing. He said that within three weeks the report would be published, or a framework for publication established.

In the absence of publication of the reports by the Government, Judge Cory has already privately told the families of the four murder victims he has recommended a public inquiry in each case.

The Finucane family today began the latest court proceedings, arguing that the calling of a public inquiry is not dependent on publication of the Cory Report. They highlight a commitment given by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2001 to set up a public inquiry into the Finucane murder if Judge Cory recommended one.

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