02/12/2020

Party's Slam Finucane Decision As An 'Insult'

Sinn Féin, Alliance, the SDLP and the Green Party have described the UK government's decision not to order a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane as an "insult" to the Belfast solicitors family.

In a joint letter to the Secretary of State Brandon Lewis, the party's wrote: "We last wrote on 22 November 'calling on you, and the British government, to act in the public interest and hold a Public Inquiry into the 1989 killing of Pat Finucane'. 31 years after the murder, and 20 years after the Weston Park commitments, your decision yesterday not to order a public inquiry - citing that other review processes needed to be completed - is neither a credible nor tenable position.

"It was an insult to the Finucane family.

"Your approach to this matter is now a matter of serious public concern.

"To avoid a public inquiry, you have clearly made a calculated decision to embark on a high-risk distraction strategy that now places both the Office of the Police Ombudsman and the PSNI in the midst of a historic murder investigation at a time when the intent is to taken legacy out of policing.
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"Your suggested approach potentially risks wider confidence in the rule of law and the administration of justice.

"The responses from both organisations to your decision are instructive. The Office of the Police Ombudsman has said that: 'at this stage events connected to the murder of Pat Finucane are not central to any of our ongoing investigations', and alongside that the PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne has that there were 'currently no new lines of inquiry'.

"Both responses raise serious questions about your decision, your approach and why you have rejected a public inquiry. This is particularly at a time when you have also not made any progress towards the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement's legacy mechanism.

"We still hold that a public inquiry is the most effective option to get the truth about the scope and extent of state collusion into Pat's killing. You must in the public interest reconsider your response to the Supreme Court ruling.

"We therefore call on you again, and the British government, to reconsider your decision and hold a Public Inquiry into the 1989 killing of Pat Finucane."

The letter was signed by Michelle O'Neill MLA, Sinn Féin; Colum Eastwood MP, Social Democratic and Labour Party; Stephen Farry MP, Alliance Party; and Claire Bailey MLA, Green Party.

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