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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