MI5 'wipe' allegations spark fresh call for Pat Finucane probe
Claims that MI5 wiped the files of the judge's inquiry team examining the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane "underpin the need for a public inquiry", the SDLP has said.
The party's justice spokesperson Dolores Kelly MLA was addressing allegations that were made in the latest episode of the BBC NI series Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History. The documentary claims that MI5 wiped the secret information "in the interests of national security" after their agents visited the offices of retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory in central London in 2002.
One of the inquiry team, Renee Pomerance, now a superior court judge in Canada, told Spotlight she could confirm the incident occurred just as they had described it.
Spotlight revealed the security services claimed they were concerned that the inquiry's computer system was insecure and a leak could endanger informers.
Judge Cory told the head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir John Stevens, that he did not pursue an official investigation in order "to prevent what might have become an international diplomatic incident".
In the end, the judge recommended holding an inquiry into Mr Finucane's murder, but it never happened.
Ms Kelly said the Finucane family have been "shamefully denied the truth for too long" and she will be pressing PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne on the need for a probe into the lawyer's murder in February 1989.
"These revelations underpin the absolute need for a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane," Ms Kelly said. "Geraldine Finucane has fought long and hard for justice for her husband. She and the remainder of her family deserve answers, but it's also bigger than that in terms of finding out what was allowed to happen and who directed what.
"The promises and commitments around a public inquiry have been made to the Finucane family but there have been so many false dawns.
"This yet again raises the absolute necessity for proper justice."