Ken Barrett 'paid off'
The killer of Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane is enjoying his freedom after
serving just 18 months of a 22 year sentence for the brutal murder.
UDA gunman and British agent Ken Barrett was released by the Sentence
Review Commission under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement
It is believed that Barrett may have received a large sum of cash and
lucrative relocation abroad in return for his silence on state
collusion between the UDA and British forces.
Barrett pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Finucane, who was shot 14 times
in his family home in north Belfast by a British-run death sqaud.
Most of the gang were paid agents of British intelligence agencies,
including the notorious Force Research Unit.
Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey said that Barrett's release had been a "further
act of collusion", claiming that the agent had ben treated in the
manner as Brian Nelson, the key link between the UDA and the FRU.
Mr Maskey said: "Nelson had also changed his plea to guilty in the
stages of his trial and was released during the late 1990s. He was
relocated and was given a substantial financial package.
"There is no reason to believe that Barrett hasn't been given the
The family of Pat Finucane said the release had been "inevitable"
was not the primary focus of the family's efforts to establish the
truth behind his father's murder.
Mr Finucane's son, Michael Finucane, said Barrett was simply an
"expendable" asset within a systematic framework that had facilitated
He added that the issue of state involvement in murder went "beyond
killing of one man".
"We can only get the truth behind the murder of Pat Finucane, and
policy of collusion that facilitated it, if the process of inquiry is
properly and verifiably independent.
"The British government has run out of excuses for delaying the
establishment of such an inquiry, which they agreed to during the
Weston Park talks between the two governments in 2001," he said.
Mr Finucane pointed out that the British government was coming under
pressure from the international community to ditch its controversial
The legislation restricts an inquiry's role, giving British ministers
the power to withhold information transpiring from an inquiry from the
The newly-published Amnesty International Report 2006 this week
"denounced as a sham" the prospect of a Finucane inquiry under
Meanwhile, the Dublin government has said it will not co-operate with
the proposed inquiry, in solidarity with the Finucane family.
Said Mr Finucane: "The recent resolution passed by Congress of the
United States has re-affirmed the pressing need for a credibly
independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and rejected the
British assertion that the Inquiries Act is capable of providing such
an inquiry. Britain cannot maintain this fiction any longer."
* The family of murdered Sinn Fein Donegal county councillor Eddie
Fullerton marked his 15th anniversary on Thursday with the relaunch of
a campaign for truth and justice about the killing.
Eddie Fullerton was killed by an Ulster Defence Association death squad
that broke into his Buncrana home early on May 25, 1991.
The Fullerton family have consistently demanded a public inquiry into
collusion and cover-up by the British and Irish authorities in relation
to the killing.
"It is a year since Michael McDowell, the minster for justice, has
given anyone any feedback about the case and even then it was only
[after] significant pressure from Sinn Fein TDs," said Amanda
Amanda who has taken over as the family's spokesperson after Eddie's
son Albert was killed in a road accident on March 8 this year.