Finucane family granted leave to apply for review
The High Court in Belfast has allowed the Finucane family to
proceed with their case to force the British government to
publish the Cory Report.
The British government was accused yesterday of adding to the
grief of the family by delaying publication of report into
allegations of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and
British forces in his killing.
Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane was shot dead in front of
his family in 1989 by a death squad acting with the support of
the RUC police Special Branch and the British military
Mrs Finucane, who was injured when UDA gunmen murdered her
husband, is also seeking an order compelling Mr Murphy to
indicate the report's recommendations and to declare her
entitlement to see the report.
Judge Cory, retired from the Canadian Supreme Court, recently
contacted the Finucane family, and the families of three other
murder victims. He told them he had recommended that inquiries
should be held into all four cases.
Seamus Treacy, QC, said the British government's
"unconscionable delay" in publication of the report and its
recommendations had undermined pubic confidence in the
administration of justice.
He said it had also led to the loss of vital evidence
following the murder of William Stobie and the reported death
of Brian Nelson, whom he described as "another central
character." Mr Treacy said the British Government's stance was
in stark contrast to the Irish government's decision to
publish Judge Cory's reports concerning the murders of Chief
Supt Breen, Supt Buchanan and Lord Justice and Lady Gibson.
"It also stands in stark contrast to the decision of Judge
Cory himself who was driven to contact the families of those
affected by his report to inform them that he had recommended
public inquiries," said Mr Treacy.
"He told Michael Finucane, Pat Finucane's son, that he did not
think it fair to make the families wait any longer to learn of
his recommendation that there should be public inquiries. The
approach of the British government to publication of the
report is in keeping with their response so far to the murder
of Mr Finucane which has been found by the European Court of
Human Rights to have been characterised by delay, obfuscation
and a reluctance to see the truth revealed."
Outside the court, Mr Finucane's brother Martin said he
welcomed the judge's decision. "It puts increased pressure on
the British government to publish the report," he said.
Sinn Fein Assembly member for North Belfast welcomed the
decision. But he said it was a "disgrace" that the family were
forced into the action..
"After the Weston Park talks Tony Blair publicly committed
himself to publishing Judge Cory's Report and more importantly
acting on its recommendations.
"The British Government have been in possession of the Cory
Report since last October. They are hiding behind security and
legal matters in yet another stalling exercise to prevent the
truth about their involvement in a collusion policy from
"This situation is not tenable.
"The British Government need to realise that the families of
those killed through collusion will not simply stop demanding
answers and demanding the truth."