Belfast Telegraph

Widow of innocent civilian Anthony Hughes wins Loughgall SAS killings inquest review

By Alan Erwin

The widow of an innocent civilian shot dead by the SAS alongside eight IRA men can challenge the Secretary of State for handing a decision over holding fresh inquests to the Advocate General, a High Court judge has ruled.

Jeremy Wright QC is the chief legal adviser to the UK Government on Northern Ireland law, as well as Attorney General for England and Wales, and a Conservative MP.

Brigid Hughes was granted leave to seek a judicial review of Theresa Villiers' decision to leave the final say on holding new hearings into the killings at Loughgall, Co Armagh, with Advocate General Mr Wright. Mrs Hughes took legal action against the move, arguing the Government should have no role.

Her husband Anthony died in May 1987 when he was innocently caught up in what proved to be the largest loss of life suffered by the IRA during the Troubles.

Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin QC had been considering requests for new inquests after the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg found the rights of those killed at Loughgall had been violated.

But last September Ms Villiers issued a certificate for Mr Wright to decide on whether to direct a fresh tribunal into the ambush.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Treacy ruled that an arguable case had been established that the Secretary of State's decision to issue a certificate was contrary to requirements within the European Convention on Human Rights.

Last year Mr Hughes' family received a full Government apology confirming he was innocent.

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