Flash: Stevens report suppressed; IRA statement 'positive'
Human rights campaigners have described the news that only a tiny
portion of the Stevens report on collusion between unionist death
squads and elements within the British Crown forces will be
published as "an absolute scandal".
London police chief John Stevens is set to reveal just a tiny
part of his report, which investigated a terror campaign directed
by British military chiefs against the nationalist population.
The campaign included the murder of defence lawyer Pat Finucane
and other targeted assassination bids
Paul Mageean, of the Belfast-based Committee on the
Administration of Human Rights, said: "This is an absolute
scandal - 4 million pounds has been spent on this inquiry and it
looks as if we will see about 15 pages out of 3,000."
John Stevens, who has spent more than a decade investigating
allegations of collusion, will deliver his latest findings to the
PSNI police on Thursday.
Files on at least 20 serving and retired soldiers and police
members have been passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
"There may be names in the report that could people's lives at
risk," Mr Mageean accepted. "But after four years to get so
little is unacceptable. This is no better than Stevens' first
report which we never got to see."
It is understood the British Army's murderous Force Research Unit
has come in for particular criticism.
The shadowy wing ran double agents such as Brian Nelson, who died
in unconfirmed circumstances last week. Nelson, a former British
soldier who infiltrated the paramilitary UDA, has been linked to
more than 30 murders, including the Finucane killing in 1989.
With the lawyer's family and supporters still demanding a public
inquiry into his murder, Nelson's death has robbed any future
hearing of a crucial witness. "This is a massive loss," Mr
Mageean admitted. "But people still want to know exactly what
went on in the Pat Finucane case and neither Brian Nelson's death
nor a 15-page document will end that."
IRA STATEMENT 'POSITIVE' - GOVTS
In other news, the British and Irish governments have described
an IRA statement of its peaceful intentions which they received
last night as "positive" and displaying a commitment to making
the peace process work.
The governments are currently seeking clarification of certain
aspects of the statement before publishing a joint declaration on
the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, the result of
intensive negotiations over the past weeks and months
Commenting on the development, Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel
McLaughlin said "there is now an opportunity to get the peace
process back on track. These are positive developments, which
should be built upon. The two governments should now move and
publish their Joint Declaration."