Finucane family granted review

Pat Finucane was a high profile Belfast solicitor

The family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has been granted leave to apply for a judicial review of the decision not to publish a report into his killing.
In court on Tuesday, the government was accused of adding to the grief of the Finucane family by their delay in releasing Judge Peter Cory's report into the murder.

The judge granted an application by Mr Finucane's widow, Geraldine, for the holding of a judicial review into the failure of the Secretary of State, Paul Murphy, to publish Judge Cory's reports, which he received last October.

Mr Finucane was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries, the UDA, in front of his family at his home in Belfast in 1989.

The retired Canadian judge examined allegations of collusion surrounding some of the most controversial killings of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

These included the murder of Mr Finucane, the killing of Catholic man Robert Hamill in Portadown in 1997, the murder of Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright in the Maze Prison in 1997 and the murder of Rosemary Nelson in Lurgan in 1999.

A lawyer for Mrs Finucane said the delay in publishing the reports had undermined public confidence in the administation of justice.

Seamus Treacy QC said the government's decision was in stark contrast to the Irish Government's decision to publish the judge's reports and also the decision of Judge Cory himself who contacted the families of those affected by his report to inform them he had recommended public inquiries.

'Arguable case'

Mr Treacy said the judge had told the family he did not think it was fair to make them wait any longer.

A lawyer for the government said the issue was the time frame.

Declan Morgan QC said the Irish Government only had two murders to deal with while the British Government had four.

Mr Justice Weatherup said "an arguable case had been made" and the case has been adjourned until March.

Judge Cory was appointed by the British and Irish Governments in 2001 to examine allegations of collusion surrounding some of the most controversial killings of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Last October, he delivered six reports to the London and Dublin administrations on eight killings.

The British Government says it is still considering the legal and security implications of publishing the judge's findings.

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