Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Billy Wright report date is set

The findings of a public inquiry into the prison murder of loyalist Billy Wright is to be published on September 14

The findings of a public inquiry into the prison murder of loyalist Billy Wright in Northern Ireland are to be published on September 14, the Government has confirmed.

The former leader of the paramilitary Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) was shot dead by republicans who smuggled weapons into the top security Maze prison in 1997.

Lord Ranald MacLean led a £30 million investigation into alleged security lapses and allegations of an official plot to have Wright killed because of the danger he posed to the peace process.

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said a scrutiny of the report by Government lawyers had ensured its release did not pose a threat to the lives of individuals, and he confirmed the document was cleared for publication.

Meanwhile, paramilitary watchdog the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) announced that it is to issue a special report on the murder of a man in May.

Members of the UVF were blamed for shooting Bobby Moffett, who was gunned down by masked men in daylight on Belfast's Shankill Road.

Police are already investigating whether the leadership of the paramilitary group sanctioned the killing, despite the fact that the UVF is on ceasefire and recently decommissioned its weapons.

The killing is believed to have been linked to a private dispute between the 43-year-old victim and leading loyalists.

There was widespread condemnation of the brutal murder, carried out by two masked men on a street thronged with shoppers.

The IMC said it will issue a special report on the incident, and promised to publish it before the organisation's next full report on paramilitary activity, which is due out in October.

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