Belfast Telegraph

'Data laws broken' over Brown case

The new deputy chief constable for Northern Ireland has claimed data protection laws may have been breached by disclosures about the 1997 Sean Brown murder.

The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) of independent detectives has compiled a report on the loyalist killing of the GAA official in Co Derry.

Lawyer Ian Skelt told a Belfast inquest the naming of individuals within the body of the report was raised by then-assistant chief constable Drew Harris.

He said: "It stated in correspondence that we have seen from Mr Harris that that was a breach of the Data Protection Act."

Mr Skelt, who represents the Brown family, asked senior coroner John Leckey to consider the matter.

The victim, 61, was abducted and shot by loyalists after locking up a GAA club in Bellaghy in May 1997.

The inquest is due to be held next year.

Mr Leckey said: "My provisional view is the Data Protection Act does not apply to me and what I do but may apply to the Historical Enquiries Team, bearing in mind their role is different."

The Data Protection Act controls how personal information is used by organisations, businesses or government. Principles for using the data have been enshrined in law.

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