Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Robert Hamill report due by end of year

Robert Hamill, who was killed in Portadown in April 1997
Robert Hamill, who was killed in Portadown in April 1997

The report of the Robert Hamill Inquiry will be ready by the end of the year, it has been revealed.

As relatives of the Bloody Sunday victims await delivery of the Saville Report into the January 1972 shootings, Judi Kemish, the solicitor and secretary to the Hamill investigation, said a series of recommendations would also accompany the findings.

Members of the public are being invited to submit their views on any issues they believe the inquiry should cover in the recommendations. They have until June 1 to make submissions.

She said: "The inquiry is keen that the process of drawing up its recommendations should be as open and inclusive as possible. We would encourage any organisations and individuals who feel they could usefully contribute to this process to submit their views."

The inquiry has already identified a number of organisations and matters which might form the subject of one or more recommendations. They include a number of relevant bodies, including the PSNI. The list also includes wider issues pertaining to the initiation of a public inquiry and the procedures governing them.

In an interim report, the inquiry has urged the Public Prosecution Service to reconsider a decision not to prosecute one of four RUC officers who allegedly stood by while Mr Hamill, a Catholic father of two, was kicked by a loyalist mob in the centre of Portadown, Co Armagh, in April 1997. He died 11 days after the attack.

The year-long public hearings which ended last December heard evidence from 174 witnesses, among them the former RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan. There were also 37 witness statements.

Meanwhile, the date of publication of the Saville Report remains on hold until after the next government takes up office.

Government lawyers have completed their study of the findings. Last month in a Commons statement, Secretary of State Shaun Woodward said the report would be published as soon as practicable after the General Election.

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