29/04/2009

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.

Those applications were based upon the continuing activity of dissident republican terrorists, including the recent murders of a PSNI officer and two soldiers.

A spokesperson for the Inquiry said: "After giving careful consideration to all relevant evidence and legal argument, the Inquiry Panel has ruled that 19 witnesses who are serving or retired police officers may give their evidence from behind a screen.

"While their names will be made public, screening will mean that the witnesses in question cannot be visually identified which will offer them some additional protection.

"The public will still have access to the hearing chamber," she continued, noting that the Panel has also asked that the media "refrain from taking any photographs and from filming any serving or former police officers who give evidence to this Inquiry in the light of the current security situation".

See: Robert Hamill Inquiry Opens Public Sessions

(BMcC/JM)

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