Belfast Telegraph

PSNI chief George Hamilton ordered to give Sean Brown inquest explanation

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Northern Ireland's highest ranking police officer has been summoned to court to explain why a crucial report on the murder of a GAA official almost 18 years ago has been withheld from an inquest.

Chief Constable George Hamilton has been ordered to appear before Senior Coroner John Leckey tomorrow to clarify the decision and explain other delays.

Mr Leckey said: "I want chapter and verse."

The order was made during a preliminary hearing into the death of Sean Brown, who was killed by loyalists in May 1997.

Mr Brown (61) was abducted and shot after locking up a GAA club in Bellaghy, Co Londonderry.

No one has ever been charged with the killing.

A full inquest has been scheduled to start in March but the case could be derailed because of an ongoing dispute over the disclosure of an unpublished Historical Enquiries Team (HET) report, the court was told.

Mr Leckey said "steps would be taken" to compel Mr Hamilton or another senior PSNI representative to attend the court.

He added: "They will have to make themselves available. This is not a throw-away remark from me.

"This is a directive from a senior coroner and should be treated with respect."

The hearing at Mays Chambers, Belfast, heard that three issues were causing the current logjam, but the major stumbling block was the PSNI's decision not to disclose the HET paperwork.

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