Inquiry lacks the power to uncover the truth about Kincora, court told
An ongoing inquiry into abuse at children's homes lacks the powers to get to the bottom of what has been termed the systematic abuse of young boys at Kincora, the High Court has heard.
One victim of an alleged paedophile ring at the former Kincora Home for young boys in east Belfast, said new evidence of purported state collusion and cover-up of abuse must be examined by a wider Westminster inquiry.
Gary Hoy is seeking to judicially review the decision to keep the probe within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.
Opening his challenge, Ashley Underwood QC argued the ongoing Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry sitting in Banbridge, Co Down, lacks the power to properly scrutinise the "appalling, systematic abuse" Mr Hoy suffered at Kincora Boys Home.
He said: "There's now substantial evidence that the Security Service were condoning that, they knew of it and made use of it so as to blackmail the abusers and prevent some of the abusers being brought to book at the time."
Senior politicians, businessmen and high-level British state agents are alleged to have connived in the molestation and prostitution of vulnerable youngsters throughout the 1970s. With MI5 accused of a cover-up to protect an intelligence-gathering operation, calls for full scrutiny have grown ever since three senior staff at Kincora were jailed in 1981 for abusing boys in their care.
Mr Hoy (53) has taken legal action in a bid to force a full independent inquiry with the power to compel witnesses and the security services to hand over documents.
In a sworn affidavit for his challenge, he maintained that a lot more than the three convicted men were involved in the abuse and knew about it.
"I believe that many of these people had power and included MLAs, MPs and paramilitaries," he said.
"It makes me mad that they all could get away with it so easily. These people are hiding and protecting other people. I want to know who was involved and what they did."
The abuse victim added: "I find the whole thing frightening, and at times am frightened that people in authority will want my mouth shut, and want it all brushed under the carpet like it had been years ago."
He was in court with other victims as their lawyers insisted the alleged state involvement needs to be probed. Mr Justice Treacy was told they are entitled to have their ill-treatment fully examined under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"That investigation, because of a whole raft of features, requires the fullest possible powers and the fullest possible engagement of the public and other victims," Mr Underwood contended.
Story so far
The Government has so far refused to include Kincora within a child abuse inquiry established by Home Secretary Theresa May and headed by New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard. Despite the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee recommending Justice Goddard's remit be extended to cover the east Belfast home, Mrs May has said the HIA tribunal being overseen by Sir Anthony Hart is the best forum for examining the allegations. It has long been suspected that figures from within the British establishment may have been involved.
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