Belfast Telegraph

Retired judge to head up new Mull of Kintyre inquiry

By Sam Lister

The Government has confirmed retired Scottish judge Lord Philip will lead the independent investigation into the Mull of Kintyre helicopter crash that killed 25 senior members of Northern Ireland's intelligence community.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced the retired Scottish judge will head up a panel that includes MP Malcolm Bruce and two former Scottish Secretaries, Conservative Lord Forsyth of Drumlean and Labour Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke.

All 29 people on board the helicopter died when it crashed in June 1994 while travelling from RAF Aldergrove to a conference at Fort George in Inverness-shire.

Last week Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced an independent inquiry would be held into the crash after continuing concern over the RAF findings that the two pilots guilty of “gross negligence” for flying too fast and too low in thick fog.

The pilots' families have campaigned to have the ruling overturned, after leaked documents suggested the helicopter was brought down by computer software failures.

Four crew members died along with the 25 MI5 and RUC personnel. The most senior person to die was John Robert Deverell (57) who was Deputy Director-General of MI5 and heading up the intelligence effort in the province.

A memorial cairn now marks the site of the crash on the Mull of Kintyre and has a plaque with the names of the deceased, which also included four crew members.

Lord Philip was chairman of the Medical Appeal Tribunals and former chairman of the Scottish Land Court. He retired from the Bench in 2007, but still sits on an occasional basis.

He said: “We will review all the evidence rigorously and while I intend to base this review on the papers I am today writing to the families informing them of the review and inviting them to outline their concerns so the review committee can address them.”

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