‘Inquiry’ seen as bid to give cover to broken promises

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A Westminster committee has launched an inquiry to consider British government proposals on legacy, but it does not have the confidence of victims and relatives of people killed as a result of British state violence and collusion.

Relatives for Justice chief executive Mark Thompson has questioned a plan by the unionist-dominated ‘Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’ at Westminster to consider hugely controversial British government plans to bin measures on legacy investigations agreed in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement.

Last month British Direct Ruler Brandon Lewis sparked allegations of a new cover-up when he suggested that only state killings with “compelling” evidence would receive a proper police investigation. The British government has also suggested some controversial cases may be closed, with a legal bar placed on reopening them.

Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy described the proposals under discussion as “wholly unacceptable”.

“It is clear those proposals are designed to undermine the mechanisms already agreed by the British government, the Irish government and the political parties in the Stormont House Agreement.

“This is a further attempt to deny access to truth to families, some of whom have been waiting up to 50 years....

“Instead of coming up with new proposals and inquiring into them, leading to further delays, the British government needs to fulfil its obligations and immediately implement the legacy mechanisms contained in the Stormont House Agreement in a human rights-compliant manner.”

Mr Thompson added: “This committee does not hold the confidence of the many thousands of people from across our entire community bereaved and injured as a result of collusion and direct state violence.

“This committee has traditionally ignored their voice and experiences.

“Rather than bringing scrutiny it will ultimately provide cover for the agenda of the British government, an agenda that subverts the rule of law and continues to protect and shield British soldiers from being held accountable.”

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