Belfast Telegraph

New bill will 'make probe a charade'
Finucane attack on Blair over legislation

By Chris Thornton
09 February 2005

The planned inquiry into Pat Finucane's murder is in danger of becoming a "government-controlled charade", his eldest son said today.

Michael Finucane, a Dublin solicitor, attacked the special legislation being rushed through Parliament to change the rules of evidence for the inquiry into collusion the murder.

And he criticised Prime Minister Tony Blair for introducing the Inquiries Bill, saying it would cover up aspects of the killing.

"Somehow the politician who promised an end to government by stealth was replaced by one who seems to want to write the definitive work: the Inquiries Bill," Mr Finucane wrote in today's Guardian.

"The murder of my father is a crucial event because of what the case could potentially reveal. It is for this reason the bill was created.

"But the bill does not just affect one case: it is about to become the law of the land and is being pushed through by the most control-obsessed government Britain has ever seen."

Mr Finucane said the law change "should be resisted by anyone who really feels that secrecy and closed doors have no place in a modern, democratic British government".

"Or, to put it another way," he added, "anyone who doesn't think like Tony Blair."

Saturday will be the 16th anniversary of Pat Finucane's murder by the UDA.

Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, concluded in 2003 that there had been collusion between the loyalist killers and members of the security forces.

The Government finally agreed to proceed with an inquiry, but only under the terms of new legislation that will give Ministers greater powers to keep secrets from the inquiry.

As a result, the Finucane family has said that they will refuse to cooperate.

"The reality is that an inquiry that is not a public inquiry becomes little more than a government-controlled charade. It is established by government, regulated by government and controlled by government throughout," said Mr Finucane.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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