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19/01/2018

Loughinisland Murders: Judge Asked To Withdraw From Case

A judge expected to announce whether he will quash the Police Ombudsman's report into the finding of police collusion in the 1994 Loughinisland murders has been asked to withdraw from the case, the High Court has heard.

Mr Justice McCloskey delivered a verdict that the report by the Ombudsman was unlawful and procedurally unfair.

The judge was asked to step aside over a possible perception of bias.

UVF gunmen opened fire in a pub in Co Down and six men were killed and five others were wounded.
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A spokesperson from the Ombudsman said: "We respect the judgment of the Court, and are clearly disappointed. We will need time over the coming weeks to consider it carefully.

"As we look at the judgment in more detail we will examine all the options open to us including an appeal. Clearly, however, we have to wait until the final outcome of the challenge.

"This judgment may have implications for how Northern Ireland deals with historical matters, affecting not only this Office, but also proposed solutions such as the Historical Inquiries Unit."

(CD/LM)

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