21/12/2010

Three To Face Charges Over Hamill Death

Although the public hearings have been concluded, the inquiry into the death of 25-year-old Portadown Catholic Robert Hamill continues to make the news today.

Claims that the RUC failed to intervene on the night he was attacked is about to lead to three people being charged in connection with the tragedy.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has today confirmed that two people will be prosecuted on the charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice after a review of evidence was found to have met the PPS 'Test for Prosecution'.

Another person will be prosecuted with the offence of doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice.

The latest move follows a request from the inquiry team for prosecutors to reconsider a decision not to prosecute an individual and came on foot of a review of all the available evidence including that given to the Hamill Tribunal.

It was established to investigate after the innocent man was set upon and beaten by a loyalist mob in April 1997 on his way home from a night out with a group of friends.
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He failed to recover from his injuries and died 11 days later.

Just last week, continuing delays in the publication of the report into the contentious Troubles' murder was slammed.

The SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said delayed publication of reports into the killings of Catholic man, Robert Hamill would cause disappointment and dismay for the family and the whole local community - and has alleged their eventual publication will have "devastating conclusions".

She was speaking after the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, told the House of Commons in Westminster: "It is with regret that I must inform the House of a delay to the publication of the report of the Robert Hamill Inquiry.

"The Robert Hamill Inquiry has recently informed me that it expects to deliver its report to me by the end of February 2011," he said, noting: "I have written to ask them to expedite their work and to continue to bear down on costs in these remaining months."

See: Hamill And Nelson Murder Reports Delayed

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31 January 2011
Prosecutions See Hamill Inquiry 'Parked'
The controversial inquiry into how police handled the sectarian murder of Robert Hamill has been put on the 'back burner'.
25 August 2009
Witness For Hamill Inquiry Welcomed
The Robert Hamill Inquiry has welcomed news that a key witness has agreed to give evidence. An attack by a loyalist mob in Portadown town centre in 1997 remains at the heart of the continuing legal probe into the deadly circumstances.
29 April 2009
Hamill Inquiry Witnesses To Be Screened
The Robert Hamill Inquiry has ruled that witnesses who are serving or retired police officers may give their evidence from behind a screen. However, they will not be granted full anonymity. This ruling has been made in response to applications for such screening on behalf of a number of former or still serving police officers due to give evidence.
11 March 2009
Police To Be Anonymous At Hamill Inquiry
To allow the ongoing Robert Hamill Inquiry to continue with its work "without undue delay", anonymity for police officers giving evidence has been granted. The Inquiry Chairman Sir Edwin Jowitt, has ruled that - on a temporary basis until further notice - no police officers giving evidence will be identified.
31 July 2007
House Of Lords Rule On Hamill Inquiry
The House of Lords have ruled that a Belfast court must decide if ex-RUC officers are to receive anonymity when giving evidence at an inquiry into a Portadown man’s death. Robert Hamill, a 25-year-old Catholic, died in hospital following an attack by a loyalist mob in Portadown in 1997.