Category: Archive

Finucane family rejects Stevens probe

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST — The family of murdered Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane has rejected a new inquiry by the deputy commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, John Stevens, as a "non starter."

At his first press conference since starting work, Stevens last week admitted to journalists that he had discovered links during earlier inquiries between collusion and the Finucane murder 10 years ago that had "concerned" him.

Asked what action he had taken, Stevens said he had passed all the relevant documentation to the Northern Ireland director of public prosecutions and the then RUC Chief Constable Sir Hugh Annesley.

The Finucane family said Stevens should refuse the job, saying the inquiry is being used by the RUC chief constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, to deflect growing demands for a full international inquiry.

Finucane was shot dead in his kitchen in front of his family by loyalist gunmen who, supporters of an independent investigation believe, acted on information provided by the security forces.

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Finucane’s widow, Geraldine, said she distrusted Flanagan’s motives in appointing Stevens, who has already completed two never-published inquiries into collusion between loyalists and the British Army/RUC.

"More than 10 years have elapsed since Pat’s murder. During that time the RUC had ample time to conduct a thorough investigation had the will to do so existed," she said, adding that neither she nor her family would cooperate with the inquiry.

"It is more than a coincidence that this latest probe comes at a time when international concern about possible RUC collusion in Pat’s murder has reached an unprecedented level."

Finucane said Stevens twice in the early 1990s carried out inquiries into allegations of British army and RUC security files being leaked to loyalist paramilitaries and found there was no evidence of "institutionalized" collusion.

"On none of these occasions did Mr. Stevens contact me or other members of the Finucane family or the firm of Madden and Finucane Solicitors or former clients of Pat’s who reported very specific death threats which had been made prior to his murder," she said.

At his Belfast press conference, Stevens said: "I am determined to solve this crime and bring those responsible to justice. I want to stress that this is an independent inquiry and that is vital to our making progress."

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