Derry Journal

'Sunday' Probe Delayed Again

Tuesday 10th August 2004

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry has announced a seven-week delay in completing its public hearings later this year.

Counsel to the inquiry Christopher Clarke QC was to complete public hearings with the delivery of his closing statement during the week starting October 4.

However, the Inquiry has now revealed that Mr. Clarke's closing statement will not begin until November 22.

It is understood the huge amount of evidence gathered in the last six years is the reason for the delay.

It has also been announced that Mr. Clarke's closing statement will take no longer than two days.

When the inquiry opened in March 2000, Mr. Clarke's opening statement became the longest such statement in British legal history.

It was originally anticipated that his closing comments could last for two weeks.

According to the Inquiry, Mr. Clarke's final report is intended to constitute: an overview of the issues for the Tribunal to decide; an overview of significant bodies of evidence; and to indicate a range of conclusions the Tribunal might reach.

An Inquiry spokesman said: "It will not purport to be a summary of every piece of evidence or every possible conclusion or analysis."

Following the closing statement, the three inquiry judges - Lord Saville of Newdigate, Mr. Justice John Toohey and Mr. Justice William Hoyt - will retire to draw up their report.

While no date has been set for the publication of the report, it is believed that it will be made public in the later part of next year.

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