Belfast Telegraph

Case must be included in UK probe, says lawyer

By Liam Clarke

The head of Northern Ireland's biggest criminal law practice has said that the Kincora investigation should not be conducted in Northern Ireland.

Kevin Winters wants the possible links to child abuse rings elsewhere, and to the intelligence services' involvement, looked at as part of the overall Westminster inquiry.

He represents a number of former Kincora residents who have launched a judicial review to have abuse at the boys' home dealt with as part of a UK-wide inquiry and not by Anthony Hart's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry which is currently sitting in Banbridge.

"The Kincora investigation will lose something if it is isolated and put into the backwater of Banbridge. There is still no compellability of witnesses in Banbridge. Until they get compellability and until they have what could specifically be described as Human Rights Act compliant powers we must part company with what is being proposed by the HIA."

Asked about the HIA's recent statement that there would be no prosecutions under the Secrets Act for those who gave evidence, he replied: "There is still a residual concern that at the end of the day, it falls short, but it is a step in the right direction".

He stated: "Dealing with Kincora on a piecemeal basis undermines the entire integrity of any full-ranging inquiry. I think the whole issue needs to be taken in conjunction with the wider reports of abuse and the scandals that were perpetrated in other parts of the jurisdiction."

Mr Winters has included an affidavit from Colin Wallace in his pleadings. "Anything he has to say on any case has to be tested in court in the proper way. We welcome any help and assistance from people who say they have knowledge of these issues and are more than happy to hear from anyone who believes they have specific information that would help uncover the truth about these events in the 70s. In general terms, we welcome his input."

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