Renewed focus on Finucane case
Renewed focus on Finucane case

Pressure is mounting on British Prime Minister Tony Blair over his government’s refusal to have a public inquiry on the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane.

Canadian Judge Peter Cory investigated state collusion in Mr Finucane’s murder, at the request of both the British and Irish governments.

Last April, Judge Cory recommended that the British government should establish an independent public inquiry into the case.

The British government responded by refusing to publish key aspects of Judge Cory’s report and by creating new legislation to set up a limited and secretive inquiry.

In an apparent bid to shore up its nationalist credentials, the Dublin government is showing renewed interest in the case.

The Finucane family held a meeting with senior Dublin officials this week.

Revealing that Mr Ahern believes the British government to have not fulfilled its commitments on an inquiry, Mr Finucane’s son Michael said Dublin had raised the case consistently with Mr Blair in correspondence and meetings during recent weeks.

“The Irish government takes the view that there is a binding agreement between the two governments and that the Irish government expect this to be fulfilled,” he said.

“The Taoiseach assured my family that there would be no compromise on this issue. The government’s support for a full public inquiry and the Finucane family is as strong as ever.”

Next week, on the eve of St Patrick’s Day, a high-profile Congressional hearing in Washington is scheduled to examine Pat Finucane’s case.

Among the witnesses providing testimony will be Mr Finucane’s widow, Geraldine.

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