Belfast Telegraph

MI5 ‘not involved’ in Doherty murder

By Brendan McDaid

The family of a man executed by the Real IRA in Londonderry today told of their disappointment after a senior advisor ruled out MI5 involvement in the murder.

Lord Carlile informed the family of Kieran Doherty of his conclusions following a four-month probe into the role of security services. Real IRA member Mr Doherty (31) was stripped and bound before being shot in the Braehead Road area on the outskirts of Derry in February 2010.

The dissident organisation claimed afterwards they had carried out the killing because of alleged involvement with drugs.

In the months before his death, Mr Doherty told a local newspaper MI5 had tried to recruit him as an agent and he met with a local MLA to discuss his concerns.

The government’s independent advisor on the activities of the security services, Lord Carlile, yesterday delivered his conclusions to Foyle MP Mark Durkan at Westminster, asking that they be passed on to the family.

The brief letter opens with the warning over potential “national security issues in this matter”, with Lord Carlile saying he was only able to give his conclusions in the broadest manner.

He said he had received “the fullest cooperation” with his investigation, and no material was denied to him.

He also said that there was no “inappropriate or improper” actions on the part of the security services and added that the “cruel” murder was not due to any “misbehaviour or infraction by anybody connected directly or indirectly with the public service”.

Lord Carlile said he had also found that the PSNI had been able to carry out a full investigation unimpeded.

Kieran Doherty’s uncle Vincent Coyle today said the family wanted to thank Lord Carlile for his work on the probe but added his conclusions “raised more questions than they answered”.

Mr Coyle said: “I think he came to Derry with the best of intentions but we find his conclusions unacceptable and they are only conclusions.

“What Lord Carlile has failed to mention is the family’s assertion, and that by Kieran himself, that he was being targeted by MI5.

Indeed, he went to the media and a local MLA to express concerns in the months leading up to his death.

“Lord Carlile mentions there was no inappropriate or improper behaviour.

“What is inappropriate or improper for an agent of the state, an MI5 agent?

“There are huge different moral boundaries here — what might be totally unacceptable for us in normal society could be run of the mill to people of this ilk.”

Mr Coyle said the family were now calling on the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott to carry on the police investigation and look into the family’s allegations of MI5 involvement.

They have also called on Secretary of State Owen Paterson to make a statement and hold a debate in the House of Commons on the report and the role of the secret service in Northern Ireland.

He added that the family saw Lord Carlile's investigation as “one more step on the road to truth and justice for Kieran”.

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