17 September 2004


The guilty plea and sentencing of Ken Barrett has never been our main
concern. We have continually asked for the truth.

Barrett's plea of guilty means that much of that truth remains

The Stevens investigation, no matter how thorough, and any
prosecutions arising out of it, including that of Barrett, will never
come close to establishing the truth.

We can only get the truth if we are involved in the process.

The truth can only be established when we have the entitlement to
question the relevant witnesses and scrutinise the relevant

We have had no input into Barrett's prosecution and trial. We have
seen none of the evidence nor would we ever have had the opportunity
to challenge that evidence even if the trial had proceeded.

Prosecutions are controlled by the Director of Public Prosecutions
and we are entirely excluded from that process. The Government, of
course, is fully aware of this, which is why it is continuing with
prosecutions and trials against our wishes.

It is outrageous that the Government is continuing its pretence that
our concerns and that of the public can be satisfied by prosecutions
and trials.

The Government has run out of excuses for delaying the establishment
of a public inquiry into Pat's murder.

It is now time for the Government to comply with its promise at
Weston Park and its personal commitment to Judge Cory and indeed its
international obligations.

Our campaign to seek the truth will continue and we will not be
discouraged or disheartened by a callous government continuing its
own campaign of delay, cover-up and spin. ENDS


Immediate Release

Public inquiry must be held into Finucane killing

Joint Statement from Amnesty International, British Irish Rights
Watch, the Committee on the Administration of Justice and Human
Rights First Four leading human rights organizations - who sent
observers this week to the trial of Kenneth Barrett - today called
urgently on the UK government to immediately implement Judge Peter
Cory's recommendation for a public inquiry into the 1989 murder of
Belfast lawyer Patrick Finucane. The conviction and sentencing today
of Kenneth Barrett, a former loyalist paramilitary, for the murder of
Patrick Finucane has removed any purported justification on the part
of the authorities to further delay a public inquiry. "Our observers
of the trial this week were able to confirm that Kenneth Barrett's
guilty plea led to no significant information being made public
during the court case; criminal proceedings have clearly been
insufficient in getting at the full truth of the Finucane case".
There must be no further delay in immediately proceeding to hold a
public inquiry into the allegations of state collusion into, and
subsequent cover-up of, Patrick Finucane's killing. The four
organizations who sent observers further noted Judge Cory's finding
that: "[t]his may be one of the rare situations where a public
inquiry will be of greater benefit to a community than prosecutions."
A spokesperson for the organizations said: "Successive governments
have aided and abetted the cover-up in this most sinister of murders,
which involved collusion by several agents and agencies of the state,
including the police and the army. The time has come to submit the
murder of Patrick Finucane to the independent scrutiny it demands.
There is no longer any excuse for prevarication, and we expect the
Prime Minister to announce a public inquiry immediately." In the
past, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on human
rights defenders and the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of
judges and lawyers, as well as international and local human rights
organizations, including the International Federation of Human
Rights, Human Rights Watch and the Pat Finucane Centre have called on
the UK government to proceed to an inquiry without delay.
The inquiry should focus on collusion by state agents with loyalist
paramilitaries in Patrick Finucane's killing, on reports that his
death was the result of state policy, and on allegations that
different government authorities played a part in the subsequent
cover-up of collusion in his killing. For further information from
the Committee for the Administration of Justice (CAJ) contact Maggie
Beirne (Director) 0044(0) 7703486949 or Maggie O'Conor (Legal
adviser) 028 90961122

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