**Blogger was down for a time today, so these have already been posted on the other sites:


'Deficiencies' in death inquiries

Pat Finucane was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries

The government must improve the way it investigates deaths caused by police and security forces, the NI Human Rights Commission has urged.

Its call follows a report by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers into how the government responded to six cases.

The committee said action must be taken to address deficiencies in the government's investigation process.

The 1989 death of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane was one of the cases examined.

The Human Rights Commission is a statutory body which was established under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Its role is to ensure that the human rights of everyone in Northern Ireland are protected in law, policy and practice.


Commission chief executive Paddy Sloan said they were pleased with the committee's findings.

"Urgent steps must be taken to address the weaknesses found by the European Court in the investigation of these deaths and to ensure that this issue does not come before the court again," she said.

"The government should comply fully with the judgments as soon as possible."

The five other cases under investigation were the killings of Pearse Jordan in November 1992, Jonathan McKerr in November 1982, Vincent Kelly and others in May 1987, Patrick Shanaghan in December 1990 and Dermot McShane in July 1996.

It also examined circumstances which gave rise to allegations of collusion between the security forces and the loyalist paramilitaries who committed the crimes.



Police Ombudsman offers to aid McCartney probe
02/03/2005 - 14:02:14

The office of the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman today offered to assist in the investigation of the murder of Belfast man Robert McCartney.

The offer was made as a way of getting republicans not traditionally anxious to make statements to the police to come forward.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde said earlier that he was quite happy for people who did not feel confident about going directly to the police to approach them through a third party.

“I have no difficulty with that, but what we need to do is get the information and then give the people the confidence to go into court and give the evidence,” said Mr Orde.

The family of Mr McCartney, who had his throat slashed after a pub fight last month, have accused IRA members of being responsible and the IRA of covering up the murder and intimidating witnesses to stop them giving information.

The murdered man’s sister, Paula, today said that if witnesses were unwilling to give statements directly to the police the family would like them to give them to the Police Ombudsman.

A spokesman for Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s office said: “We are keen to help in any way we can.”

He added: “We need to agree with the PSNI the best way forward.”

Agreement would be needed on a method of statements being taken and formally passed to the murder investigation team so they could be used in any legal action which follows, he said.

The IRA said at the weekend that three members had been expelled following an internal inquiry into the murder and the forensic clean up of the bar which followed.

A 29-year-old man was last night released without charge after being questioned by detectives investigating the killing. Another man was released without charge at the weekend.

Meanwhile Belfast City Council last night overwhelmingly backed an SDLP motion condemning the murder and calling on witnesses to pass information to the police.

Sinn Féin came under fire after abstaining during the vote after their amendment calling on people to come forward through whatever avenue they chose was heavily defeated.



Orde ‘happy if evidence is passed to third parties’

02/03/2005 - 13:06:53

PSNI chief constable Hugh Orde has said he has no problem with people providing evidence about the murder of Robert McCartney to third parties.

Speaking at a meeting of the North's Policing Board today, Mr Orde said he would be happy if people passed information to solicitors or clergymen if they did not want to approach the police.

Mr McCartney was beaten and stabbed to death outside a pub in Belfast on January 30, allegedly by senior IRA members who cleaned up the forensic evidence afterwards.

His death has led to a backlash against Sinn Féin, which has urged people with information to come forward.

The party has been criticised by its opponents for saying that people who do not trust the police should pass on information through a third party.

However, Mr Orde said today that he would have no difficulty with people speaking to others before statements were taken to be used in the courts.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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