Sunday Life


By Alan Murray
29 February 2004

THE families of two teenagers, murdered in a gruesome double killing, say they believe the security services are deliberately hindering the police investigation, in order to protect a UVF double agent.

Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine were bludgeoned to death, in February 2000, at the height of a feud in mid-Ulster between the UVF and LVF.

Despite the availability of what their families claim is "compelling" forensic evidence, none of those involved has been convicted of the murders.

And, more than three months after the Lord Chief Justice directed Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, to disclose all the documents contained in the police file on the murder, no documents have been handed over.

The solicitors acting for the Robb and McIlwaine families have been told that Orde is planning to seek a public interest immunity certificate (PIIC), to prevent the file being handed over.

Said a McIlwaine family spokesman: "We have asked to speak to Hugh Orde, but he won't meet us.

"He promised openness, and an end to the 'force within a force' aspect, whereby Special Branch controlled investigations, and decided who would and who wouldn't be charged, but it appears not to apply in the murders of two innocent children."

Under current law, the Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, will see all documents relating to the case - including any Special Branch intelligence reports - as will the Coroner, when papers are eventually handed over.

But the relatives won't see the sensitive material, if Lord Chief Justice, Sir Brian Kerr, grants a PIIC.

In a statement, last night, the Police Service said it was a matter of regret and disappointment that no person had been made amenable through the courts for the murders.

It said the inquiry was continuing, but evidence was needed for successful prosecutions.

But, Andrew Robb's mother, Ann, told Sunday Life: "We suspect that some major informer is being protected."

Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, said the Chief Constable should meet both families.

He added: "There are matters which clearly concern the families, and I feel the Chief Constable should meet with them, and explain his position."

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