Secret court process could be used to challenge collusion


A former military intelligence whistle-blower in the British Army has offered to give evidence in secret court hearings about murders and collusion by the British Army.

Fred Holroyd (pictured) has said he is willing to supply evidence of collusion in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, in which 33 died.

Holroyd, who lives in England, says that even though now in poor health, he is determined for the truth to be exposed regarding his deployment between 1973 and 1975.

One of his roles was as liaison between the British Army and the RUC (now PSNI) police.

He says his testimony will also include an allegation that British Army experts made the bombs the UVF used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

He is also set to testify that British Army Captain Robert Nairac killed an IRA Volunteer in the 26 Counties.

Holroyd has said Nairac boasted to him about killing IRA member John Francis Green at a farmhouse in County Monaghan in January 1975.

“I think Robert thought that I was like them, you know, that I was part and parcel of the shoot-to-kill syndrome,” he said.

Nairac outlined details of the killing and showed him a photograph he claimed to have taken afterwards. “It was quite distinctive the photograph. First of all it was colour Polaroid, only the SAS got colour Polaroid, nobody else did, we all got black and white, the other intelligence people. “

Such evidence would be given using a controversial legal process known as ‘Closed Material Procedures’, which became law in the Justice and Security Act 2013.

It allows material deemed to be a potential risk to British security to be heard secretly behind closed doors by a judge and a so-called “special advocate”. The advocate is not allowed to reveal precise details of the evidence, but can provide a loose summary of what has been said.

His lawyers say Holroyd wants to give evidence using Closed Material Procedures to avoid being arrested for breaching the Official Secrets Act.

The Belfast based law firm KRW Winters has opposed the use of Closed Material Procedures, but says it can see some merit if the process is also available to those wishing to provide evidence about wrongdoing by the state.

Holroyd is also currently suing Britain’s Minister of Defence over being forced from his job in the 1970s -- and illegally detained at the British military psychiatric unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital -- for making public allegations of collusion.

He was asked by the BBC why he had offered to take part in the ‘closed material’ process.

“There is just a faint chance that they might be able to do something about what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

“That the judiciary will turn on the government and say this was wrong, it shouldn’t have happened, we apologise, you will apologise for this and we’ll make sure that there are methods and systems that are brought in to stop this happening again.”

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