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Officers 'told lies over killing of IRA man'

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 11/11/2016

Pearse Jordan
Pearse Jordan

Two police officers involved in the inquest into an IRA man who was killed by security forces more than 20 years ago should be investigated for allegedly perverting the course of justice and perjury, a judge has been told.

Lawyers for the family of Pearse Jordan returned to Belfast's High Court to request that anonymity orders protecting the identities of Officers M and Q also be lifted.

Karen Quinlivan QC said: "It is in the public interest in people knowing and having information about wrongdoing.

"The allegation is that two police officers perverted the course of justice in a murder inquiry - that's not minor, that's serious - and thereafter perjured themselves in an inquest."

Mr Jordan (22) was shot dead by an RUC man in Belfast in 1992. He was driving a stolen car suspected of ferrying munitions when the incident unfolded.

He failed to stop when ordered by police and sped away from a patrol car.

The Ford Orion was finally brought to a halt on the Falls Road when police rammed the vehicle.

Mr Jordan was shot after getting out of the car and attempting to run away.

Earlier this week, Mr Justice Horner delivered findings in what was the third inquest into the highly contentious death. The coroner said he was not convinced by family claims that Mr Jordan was gunned down in cold blood, or by the police's insistence that the RUC man acted in self-defence.

Testimony from Officers M and Q, who were not directly involved in the shooting, was also criticised as inconsistent, contradictory and unconvincing.

Justice Horner said the officers had been "untruthful" and that one or both may have edited log books.

During yesterday's brief hearing Ms Quinlivan argued: "If somebody is suspected of involvement in serious misconduct, that should give rise to a review of anonymity."

The barrister also called for the alleged wrongdoing to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further investigation.

"We disclose that an offence may have been caused against the law," she said.

But legal representatives for the PSNI and Officers M and Q opposed the application.

Tony McGleenan QC, representing the police, said that lifting anonymity orders could increase the genuine risk to both officers' lives.

He added: "If anything the risk to the individual would remain static and could potentially increase.

"It would not under any rational analysis decrease."

Adjourning the matter for further legal argument on November 21, Justice Horner said any ruling could have "wide-ranging consequences".

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