Sunday Life

Finucane killer on the move
Cell in English prison for Barrett

By Alan Murray
19 September 2004

SELF-CONFESSED loyalist hitman, Ken Barrett, is expected to be moved to an English jail tonight.

The Prison Service was last night keeping the whereabouts of solicitor Pat Finucane's killer a closely guarded secret.

But, his solicitor told Sunday Life, that he expected his client would be moved out of Northern Ireland, this weekend.

Prison Service sources said Barrett's prison location was known only at Governor level staff, at Maghaberry Prison.

Barrett's solicitor, Joe Rice was expecting to meet him yesterday morning, but it is understood he was advised not to travel by a governor at the jail, because his client might not be there.

Mr Rice said yesterday: "I can confirm that my client has lodged an application to be considered to be included in the early release scheme, by the Life Sentence Review Commissioners.

"And, I also expect that Ken Barrett will be relocated to a prison in England, before Monday morning."

Barrett has declined to make any comment about why he pleaded guilty to the charge of murdering Belfast solicitor, Patrick Finucane, in 1989.

The only hint of doubt concerning his role in the infamous killing given in court, on Thursday, was when his barrister said, that the Crown would have had difficulty in proving that Barrett had actually discharged any of the bullets fired at Pat Finucane.

Loyalist and RUC intelligence reports suggest that two other members of the UDA entered the Finucane home and killed the prominent solicitor.

It is understood that Barrett gave little information to his legal team about his role in the killing, before Thursday's appearance in court for sentencing.

The judge noted that Barrett's lawyer had no express instructions to indicate any regret on behalf of his client. There is speculation, in UDA circles, that Barrett has made an 'arrangement' with the Stevens Inquiry team, or, the government to receive a new identity, after his release next spring, in return for agreeing to give evidence before an inquiry into Pat Finucane's murder.

Meanwhile, UDA sources continue to deride Barrett's own confessions to being a gunman. They insist that Barrett, a police informer, ran a club and was a low level figure in the organisation.

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