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Attorney General did not consult ministers before proposing end to Troubles-related prosecutions

Northern Ireland's Attorney General consulted no ministers before proposing an end to Troubles-related prosecutions, he confirmed today.

John Larkin QC stressed his suggestion of halting further investigations, inquests or inquiries into killings committed before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 was completely independent.

The chief legal adviser to the Stormont Executive has provoked outrage among relatives of some of those murdered during the 30-year conflict by his comments.

Political leaders in London, Belfast and Dublin have also distanced themselves from his proposed block on future prosecutions.

Mr Larkin, who insisted he is not advocating an amnesty, was at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast for the verdict on his successful challenge to a coroner refusing to hold an inquest into a stillbirth.

Asked if he had briefed or consulted the Executive before making his views on Troubles-era cases known in a media interview, he said: "No minister, no MLA is engaged in what I said.

"It's entirely my contribution, independent, to the public debate."

The Attorney General added: "I have put it out there and it's being discussed."

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