Belfast Telegraph

Family oppose Finucane report check

A Government security check on a new report into the loyalist murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane will further undermine the credibility of the document, his family have claimed.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said she had ordered the examination of the case review ahead of its publication to ensure it does not put lives at risk or breach national security. But relatives of Mr Finucane, who have been critical of the review from the outset, said the security exercise should have been done by the courts.

Mr Finucane was gunned down in his north Belfast home by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989. The murder of the Catholic father of three was one of the most controversial of the Northern Ireland Troubles with allegations the state colluded to facilitate the killing.

Prime Minister David Cameron has accepted collusion took place and has apologised to the Finucane family. But his refusal to hold a full public inquiry into the murder - instead opting for the current QC-led legal review - angered the high-profile solicitor's relatives, who subsequently launched a bid to challenge the decision in the courts.

Mr Finucane's son John said his family never had confidence in the review and the Government's decision to subject it to a security check had emphasised their misgivings. He said it was not appropriate for the state to control the information published in a report that was supposed to be examining its alleged role in a murder.

"This confirms again that the Government, who on the one hand are being accused of collusion in the murder of my father and the Prime Minister has accepted that there was collusion, controls the flow of information - which I don't think is credible," he said. "It is not a process that I think is independent, we think that process is best managed by a court."

Mr Finucane again called for a full public inquiry to be held. "We did not have any faith to begin with," he said of the Finucane Review.

"I would be very surprised if this will put to bed the international concerns around the murder of my father when it is released. The Government should deal with this appropriately and announce a full independent inquiry."

Announcing the security exercise, Mrs Villiers said some highly sensitive material provided by the Government to the review team would not be contained in the final document over concerns of identifying the sources.

"If those individuals or others could be identified from information contained in the report it would endanger their lives," she stated.


From Belfast Telegraph