IOL: Finucane inquiry delay 'unacceptable': Sinn Féin

Finucane inquiry delay 'unacceptable': Sinn Féin
01/04/2004 - 10:45:16

The British government was today accused of trying to delay an inquiry into security force collusion in the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane by loyalists.

As Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy prepared to release a report by retired Canadian judge Peter Cory on four controversial killings during the Troubles, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said there would be considerable anger if the British government delayed an inquiry into the 1989 murder.

The North Belfast MLA said: “It is now 15 years since the murder of Pat Finucane and if the briefings are to be believed, it could be at least 17 years before his family could even start to get to the bottom of what happened.

“That is unacceptable. The British government gave a commitment after the Weston Park talks in 2001 that it would act on Judge Cory’s recommendations.

“The families and Sinn Féin were sceptical about Judge Cory examining whether there should be public inquiries but, to be fair to him, he has been rigorous.

“However, our suspicion that this was merely a long-fingering exercise by the British government will be confirmed if, as people are being told, there is a delay to an inquiry on the Finucane case.”

Sources said today that the British government will agree in principle to four separate inquiries into the murders of Mr Finucane, Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson, Portadown Catholic Robert Hamill and loyalist terror boss Billy Wright.

It is expected they will be able to proceed immediately only with inquiries into the Wright and Hamill killings.

An inquiry into Rosemary Nelson’s murder is expected to be slightly delayed because it is still the subject of an outside police investigation.

But a much longer delay is expected for an inquiry into alleged security force involvement in the killing of Pat Finucane by the loyalist Ulster Freedom Fighters because of legal proceedings relating to his murder.

The government was also expected today to kickstart a debate on how victims of violence could get to the truth about what happened.

Sources said Prime Minister Tony Blair may address the issue at his monthly Downing Street press conference.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?