30/05/2002

Durkan welcomes appointment of Judge Cory

SDLP Leader Mark Durkan has welcomed the appointment of Judge Cory to investigate allegations of collusion into the Finucane, Hamill and Nelson cases.

Mr Durkan said: “The SDLP has long supported public inquiries into the Finucane, Hamill and Nelson cases. At Weston Park and elsewhere, we argued this case strongly. We believe that this is the only way forward to ensure confidence in the administration of justice and the rule of law. The state must never turn a blind eye to its own human rights abuse. In particular, the stench of collusion is so strong in the Finucane case that we cannot see how the British Government could resist a full inquiry.

“The SDLP is pleased to see that if Judge Cory concludes that a public inquiry is necessary in any of these cases and others, then the two Governments will ensure that there is one."

Mr Durkan urged the Governments to honour the commitments made at Weston Park in full. He said: "They must not give succour or cover to those who would obstruct such inquiries, as we have seen with Bloody Sunday.

“They must also provide all the resources necessary to allow Judge Cory to carry out his work quickly. The Nelson, Finucane and Hamill families must be reassured that Judge Cory’s appointment will not act as a stalling mechanism or a substitute for a public inquiry. After so many years fighting to get at the truth, the families deserve nothing less.”

The appointment of retired judge Mr Justice Peter deCarteret Cory, who is a former member of the Supreme Court of Canada, was made jointly by the British and Irish Governments as part of the investigation into allegations of state or security force collusion into a series of controversial killings.

It is understood that Judge Cory will assess evidence in the cases of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, Superintendent Bob Buchanan, Solicitors Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, Lord Justice and Lady Gibson, Robert Hamill, and loyalist leader Billy Wright.

(SP)


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