27/09/2012

RUC Did Not Do Enough: HET

A report into the shooting of two men by the UVF 20 years ago has concluded the RUC did not do enough to prevent their murders, according to the BBC.

Kevin McKearney and his uncle Jack McKearney were shot by loyalist paramilitaries at their family shop in County Tyrone in 1992.

Their family has welcomed the report by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), a specialist police team established in 2005 to re-examine murders which took place during the Troubles.

Commenting on the McKearney case, the HET said it could not confirm suspicions of security force collusion, but also reported they could not be ruled out.

The McKearney family were familiar in Republican circles.

Before the attack, Kevin's mother Maura had received a phone-call threatening that three men "in white coats" – a reference to the family’s butchers shop - would be killed.

The report found the RUC "did not formally record or investigate the reported death threat" and that the family were given no advice from the RUC after being threatened.

The inquiries team found that the disappearance of forensic material during the investigation, along with the "fact that a special branch officer was aware of the getaway car three minutes after the murders" remained unexplained, the BBC have reported.

At the time of Kevin's death, his parents insisted that he had no paramilitary links.

Among its conclusions, the HET report stated: "Kevin and Jack were not members of any paramilitary groups. They were both completely innocent victims."

(IT)

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