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Sister of 1972 gun victim in legal boost

By Alan Erwin

Published 05/12/2015

The sister of a woman allegedly shot dead by undercover soldiers over 40 years ago has cleared the first stage in a legal battle over investigating the killing
The sister of a woman allegedly shot dead by undercover soldiers over 40 years ago has cleared the first stage in a legal battle over investigating the killing

The sister of a woman allegedly shot dead by undercover soldiers over 40 years ago has cleared the first stage in a legal battle over investigating the killing.

Margaret McQuillan was granted leave to seek a judicial review amid claims the PSNI lacks the independence to run the probe.

Her sister, Jean Smyth-Campbell, was shot dead aged 24 in west Belfast in June 1972.

Until recently her family believed she had been killed by the IRA, but uncovered documents have suggested the controversial Military Reaction Force (MRF) fired shots in the area that night.

Lawyers for Mrs McQuillan claim the RUC wrongly blamed republican paramilitaries.

Detectives are examining nearly 20 shooting incidents, two of them fatal, as part of a probe into the MRF's activities. It is unclear whether Ms Smyth-Campbell's killing is among their caseload.

The case will now proceed to a full hearing next year.

Mrs McQuillan's lawyer said: "The judge was persuaded that an arguable case has been raised in relation to concern over the PSNI's involvement in this case."

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