A British declaration that a review into the murder of high-profile Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane will reveal substantial new information on his assassination have been dismissed by his family.
Desmond de Silva QC, the barrister who led the inquiry, has claimed “highly classified documents” would be included in his report “to ensure public confidence”. He was speaking after it emerged the review is to be vetted by MI5 British military intelligence to ensure no damaging information is revealed.
The review is due to be published the week beginning December 10.
Mr Finucane was gunned down in his north Belfast home by UDA paramilitaries in 1989. All but one of the death squad were British agents.
The murder of the Catholic father of three was one of the most controversial of the conflict. British prime minister David Cameron has accepted collusion took place and has apologised to the Finucane family. But his refusal to hold a full public inquiry into the murder -- instead opting for the ‘review’ -- has undermined the North’s peace process.
British Direct Ruler Theresa Villiers said the report has not been shown to her or any other member of the government or officials, except the members of the ‘checking team’.
Mr Finucane’s widow Geraldine said: “My family and I remain committed to achieving our goal of an independent public inquiry into all of the circumstances surrounding Pat’s murder.”
She said: “Vital information has already been removed from the report by the de Silva Review Team prior to checking by security officials, MoD personnel and the PSNI”.
“By the time the report is made public it will have been sanitised completely, to ensure that the least possible amount of discomfort is caused to the Government and the British State,” she said.
“It is clear from what the Secretary of State has said today and previously that the government has deployed every conceivable process, including the de Silva review itself, to ensure that the truth behind Pat’s murder never sees the light of day.”