IOL: SF: 'Blair knows about extent of security force collusion'

SF: ‘Blair knows about extent of security force collusion’
20/01/2004 - 13:49:17

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness has claimed that British Prime Minister Tony Blair knows that the RUC and British army colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in the North.

Mr McGuinness said it had become obvious at private meetings with Mr Blair that he realised the extent of the collusion between loyalists and his own security services.

"I believe that he believes in private that for several decades, Tory administrations and the NIO and elements of British military intelligence and the RUC were up to their necks in controlling the activities of unionist paramilitaries who were intent on murdering Catholics," he said.

Mr McGuinness was speaking as he announced details of planned pickets in London next month by families who claim their relatives were murdered as a result of British collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.

The Sinn Féin MP said 100 victims of what he called "state-sponsored murder" would picket MI5 headquarters, Conservative Party headquarters and the British Ministry of Defence offices on February 4.

He said Sinn Féin supported and endorsed the planned protest, which was organised by Firinne, an organisation representing the victims of "state violence".

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein justice spokesman Gerry Kelly has welcomed the Belfast High Court's decision for the widow of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane to gain leave to seek a judicial review of the British government’s refusal to publish the Cory Report into his murder.

A lawyer for Geraldine Finucane told the High Court the failure to publish the report had undermined public confidence in the rule of law and had compounded the distress of the Finucane family.

He also said the delay in publishing the report could lead to vital evidence being lost.

Mr Kelly said it was a disgrace the family were being forced down the legal road by the British government.

The North Belfast Assembly member said Tony Blair had long ago committed himself both to publishing the Cory Report and to acting on its recommendations.

“The British Government have been in possession of the Cory Report since last October. They are hiding behind security and legal matters in yet another stalling exercise to prevent the truth about their involvement in a collusion policy from coming out,” he said.

The situation was not tenable and the Government needed to realise the families of those killed through collusion would not simply stop demanding answers and demanding the truth, said Mr Kelly.

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