New secrecy and time-wasting as clock runs down
New secrecy and time-wasting as clock runs down


The brother of a west Belfast man whose inquest was dramatically halted after an intervention by the British government has asked, “What are they hiding?”

Eugene Thompson, whose brother Paul ‘Topper’ Thompson, was murdered by the UDA on April 27, 1994, was speaking after the police and British Direct Ruler Chris Heaton-Harris halted his inquest by trying to have information concerning the case blocked from being made public by the Coroner.

Mr Thompson said: “If the Secretary of State is involved then there’s something that they’re withholding which they do not want to come out.

“If it was just a case of it being the PSNI or the RUC they wouldn’t involve the British government, If it’s going as high up as the Secretary of State it means there is something they don’t want to come out”.

The 25-year-old was gunned down after UDA members cut a hole in a peace line fence close to a British army base to enter a nationalist area. Hours earlier, a neighbour reported a hole in the fence at Springfield Park to the RUC and British officials. However, authorities failed to act.

Concerns have already been raised about a PSNI failure to disclose documents at the inquest, which was listed to resume last month. An inquest opened in 1995 and was adjourned until last April when the first evidence was heard.

All inquests must be at their findings stage by May 1 or they will be shut down under the British government’s controversial new cover-up legislation.

Concerns have long been raised that the PSNI and others are failing to disclose relevant information to ‘run down the clock’.

The Coroner had been due to release a summary of information in files which pertain to the killing. Coroner Louisa Fee was due to provide a ‘gist’, or a summary, of some of the supposedly ‘sensitive’ material to all parties on Monday, before it was halted by the judicial review.

Eugene Thompson is his only surviving next of kin.

“I’ve been fighting for my brother for 30 years,” he said.

“They need to tell me what happened to him.

“Where is the truth and justice?

“I think they are making a laughing stock of the legal system.

“It is delay, delay, delay and coming up with excuses.”

Eugene said the family were already prepared for a British plan to run down the clock.

“We’re going to have to look into other avenues after the First of May. I told everybody from the very start — and my mother said also that they were delaying and delaying and we always said we suspected they would eventually turn around and say ‘Your time’s up,’

‘*We’ve spent 30 years of our lives trying to get answers and truth about what happened to Paul and now they are effectively saying, “Your time is up and away you go.’

“If they have gone as far as to bring in the British government then that must mean they have something to hide and I’ve been saying that for years.”

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