Irish Republican News · April 23, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Court hears prosecutions designed to delay Finucane inquiry

A judicial review aimed at forcing the British government to proceed with an independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane began yesterday.

British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy was accused of deliberately misleading the British parliament when delaying a public inquiry into the 1989 murder the Belfast defence lawyer.

Mr Murphy told the House of Commons the day the four Cory reports on collusion were published that he was delaying the inquiry into the Finucane case because of the impending trial of a man charged with his murder. He also told the Commons that as a result of the ongoing investigation into the murder, there was a possibility that further prosecutions could follow and the inquiry could not go ahead until these criminal proceedings were completed.

Mr Treacy for the Finucane family, said a police detective from the Stevens’ team, who have also investigated the case, told the Finucane family they were being encouraged to say there was a string of prosecutions in the pipeline and this was being used to block a public inquiry.

“As far as the Stevens’ team were concerned they were quite confident that as far as there was any impediment, it was only the Barrett case,” he said.

Mr Ken Barrett is to be tried in September with the murder other charges including membership of the unionist paramilitary UDA. Cory, Stevens and others have lent weight to allegations that the UDA unit was operating under the wing of British military intelligence at the time.

The judicial review was adjourned until April 28th.

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said it was “a disgrace situation” that the British government were forcing the Finucane family through the courts once again.

“The British government are desperate to conceal the involvement of their own system, former ministers and senior PSNI personnel in a campaign of state sponsored murder. That is the rational for the stalling. The issue o impacting on the trial of Ken Barrett is clearly a red herring. The events this week with the publication of the IMC Report prove that.

“ The British government need to end the stalling and end the concealment. They need to come clean about the campaign of state sanctioned murder which resulted in the death of Pat Finucane and hundreds of others.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News