Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Top QC likely to lead Pat Finucane killing inquiry

Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane who was shot dead by Loyalists
Solicitor Pat Finucane was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in his own home in 1989

The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane will today hear the Government’s proposals for an inquiry into the 1989 killing, a loyalist shooting that sparked claims of collusion.

In a London meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State Owen Paterson, the family is expected to be told that an eminent QC will be appointed to lead the investigation.

“The meeting is the climax of a year’s engagement,” John Finucane, son of the murdered solicitor, said. “We haven’t been given any firm promise, but I’m hopeful we will be offered something the family can engage in,” he added.

Mr Finucane, his brother Michael, sister Katherine, mother Geraldine and uncles Seamus and Martin Finucane are travelling to London with family solicitor Peter Madden.

The case has already been examined by Canadian Judge Peter Cory and former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens.

In a damning report, he said the murder could have been prevented and there was collusion.

The inquiry due to be announced by the Government will look beyond those directly involved in the shooting and will examine the role of agents working for both the Army and RUC Special Branch, including Brian Nelson and William Stobie.

Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre said: “I think the key test is to explore and uncover the role of FRU (the Army’s Force Research Unit) and Special Branch in all the issues surrounding the murder of Pat Finucane. We have to understand who was aware of this from the perspective of command responsibility.

“Who was aware of the role of the Army agent Brian Nelson at the level of civil servants in Whitehall and their political masters?”

Asked if he was hopeful that an inquiry will be able to get to the answers, Mr O’Connor said: “I have enough faith in the Finucane family that whatever decision they make following their meeting with the Prime Minister will be the correct one.”

Pat Finucane was shot dead by the UDA in front of his family at his north Belfast home in February 1989.

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