BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Stevens asked to hand over files

Stevens asked to hand over files

The family of the murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane have met the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens, for the first time.
Mr Finucane was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries, the UDA, at his home in Belfast in 1989.

Sir John investigated the killing and concluded that there had been collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries.

The family raised concerns that his continuing investigation would further delay the public inquiry that has been recommended by retired Canadian judge Peter Cory.

Speaking after the meeting in Belfast on Monday, Mr Finucane's widow Geraldine said they asked Sir John to end his investigation and give his files to the proposed public inquiry.

"The family wanted him to be under no illusions as to what we feel and why we feel it," she said.

"[We wanted him to know] why we are acting in the manner that we are, why we feel the inquiry is so important and that his investigation is not the way to proceed."

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.

Judge Cory's report recommends a public inquiry into the case

Last month, Mr Finucane's family was granted leave to apply for a judicial review of the decision not to publish a report into his killing.

In court, the government was accused of adding to the grief of the Finucane family by their delay in releasing Judge Cory's report.

Mrs Finucane was granted an application 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.

Judge Cory delivered six reports to the London and Dublin administrations on eight killings.

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 solicitor Rosemary Nelson in Lurgan in 1999.

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

Last week, the chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Professor Desmond Rea, said the Cory reports should be published but said the proposed inquiries should be put on hold.

He wants a commission to report on how best to deal with hundreds of unsolved killings.

The chief constable has already suggested the possibility of some sort of truth commission.

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