Belfast Telegraph

Call to disclose shooting details

Recorded details of how a police officer shot dead an unarmed IRA man almost 20 years ago should be disclosed to lawyers for the victim's family, an inquest heard.

Pearse Jordan, 23, was killed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in disputed circumstances in west Belfast.

Belfast coroner Brian Sherrard said he was frustrated more progress had not been made on releasing statements from the soldier known as Sgt A and a policeman who was also at the scene.

Mr Sherrard said: "My priority is to make sure this is done properly. The Jordans and the others have already had a very long wait but I don't think we are doing anybody any favours by rushing this on in the absence of a proper consideration of the material.

"As the days move on I come closer to the point where I am going to consider taking the matter into my own hands with regard to this, in the absence of the family's legal representatives having access to these materials."

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson has signed a public interest immunity certificate which means part of the evidence must be redacted from public view to protect security. Counsel for the security forces said the material from Sgt A would be made available early next week but the statement from the policeman, known as Witness V, may take longer because of the large volumes of material to be processed as part of the redacting exercise.

Mr Sherrard added: "I would consider this to be significant, very significant material.

"There may be required an opportunity for this material to be absorbed. It may very well come to a point as early as next week where if I feel that this material is not forthcoming I may have to make some decisions as to whether the family is likely to be able to receive an Article 2-compliant (right to life) inquest in the absence of disclosure and analysis of this material. We are not there yet but as the days move on it becomes more likely."

The inquest is still scheduled to start on October 3.

Mr Jordan was shot dead by the police in 1992. It was part of a series of events known as security force alleged shoot-to-kill incidents. His case has been delayed because of a string of legal challenges which led to a hearing in the European Court of Human Rights in 2001.


From Belfast Telegraph