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Father of UVF victim 'left in the dark' over murder probe

By Deborah McAleese

Victims campaigner Raymond McCord has submitted a complaint to the Police Ombudsman that officers have not updated him for two years about their probe into his son's murder.

Mr McCord's complaint to the independent watchdog is directed at the Chief Constable George Hamilton and a detective involved in the case.

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman's office yesterday confirmed that the complaint was being investigated.

Mr McCord's son, Raymond McCord junior, was killed by the UVF in 1997. Since then, Mr McCord has fought tirelessly for his killers to be brought to justice.

In 2007, the former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan upheld a complaint from Mr McCord that over a number of years police acted in such a way as to protect informants from being fully accountable before the law.

Ms O'Loan's explosive report uncovered collusion between the UVF and police in a string of killings.

"My complaint to the Police Ombudsman is against the senior investigating officer and the Chief Constable George Hamilton for failing to keep me informed about the investigation into Raymond's murder," Mr McCord said last night.

"I have a right to be kept updated on the progress of the investigation."

Last month, a preliminary inquest hearing into his 22-year-old son's murder heard it may take up to four years for an inquest to be ready to proceed.

The court was told that the delay was because of ongoing criminal proceedings which may or may not be linked to the killing.

It is believed those proceedings relate to Gary Haggarty, the former leader of the UVF in north Belfast, who turned State supergrass six years ago.

It is understood he has offered to give evidence against those involved in Raymond McCord's jnr's murder.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, who is in charge of legacy cases, has agreed to meet with Mr McCord today to discuss his concerns about inquest delays and the alleged lack of information from police.

"I will be requesting that all the files relating to my son's murder are handed over to my solicitors," said Mr McCord.

Belfast Telegraph


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