Lawyers demand death inquiry

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The Independent Online
THE OFFICIAL inspector of police interrogation centres in Northern Ireland is one of more than a thousand legal figures adding weight to new pressure for a judicial inquiry into one of the most controversial killings of the Troubles.

Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC, who is independent commissioner for the RUC's interrogation centres, has joined local and international lawyers to sign a petition calling for an inquiry into the 1989 murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The petition is also supported by Amnesty International, the Law Society of England and Wales and more than a dozen other human-rights bodies.

In another move on the tenth anniversary of the killing, a rights organisation is sending the Government a dossier believed to contain new evidence on the killing emanating from British military intelligence files.

Finucane, who defended republican clients in a number of high-profile cases, was shot by loyalists in February 1989.There were claims of collusion between elements of the intelligence community and the gunmen.

British-Irish Rights Watch, which is submitting a 60-page dossier to the authorities, says the new evidence "strongly suggests that agents of the state have been involved, directly and indirectly, in the murder of its citizens."

The organisation says the evidence suggests that intelligence groupings knew of the impending shooting but did nothing to prevent it, and later withheld vital information from subsequent inquiries.

r Mo Mowlam, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, yesterday received two Channel 4 awards, as the people's and the politicians' choice, for her outstanding year.