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Family of Pat Finucane say decision not to have a public inquiry is an ‘insult’

Written by on 30/11/2020

The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane say the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry is an ‘insult’.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told the Commons on Monday there would be no public inquiry into Mr Finucane’s death.

His son John told Sky News the decision was “less than a sop”.

The decision comes after a court judgment found it had failed to hold an “effective investigation” into his death at the hands of loyalist paramilitaries.

Mr Finucane, a 39-year-old solicitor who represented both republican and loyalist paramilitaries during the Troubles, was shot dead in his family home in north Belfast in February 1989.

He was killed by the Ulster Defence Association in an attack found to have involved collusion with the state.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Police Ombudsman investigations are to go ahead instead.

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Mr Finucane’s widow Geraldine and the couple’s three children have been campaigning for decades for a public inquiry, which they hope can establish the extent of security force involvement.

The Supreme Court ruled last year that all previous examinations of the death had not been compliant with human rights standards.

The court noted Mrs Finucane had been given an “unequivocal undertaking” by the government following the 2001 Weston Park agreement that there would be a public inquiry into the murder.

However, the Supreme Court judges found the government had been justified in later deciding against holding one.

It said that it was up to the government to decide what form of investigation was now required, if one was feasible.

Amid a government delay in responding to the judgment, Mrs Finucane launched fresh judicial review proceedings against the state.

And Mr Lewis’s lawyers gave a High Court judge in Belfast a commitment last month that a decision would be announced by 30 November.

In a statement, Mr Lewis said: “I have this afternoon spoken to the Finucane family, I advised them of my decision not to establish a public inquiry at this time.”

 Sky News

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