Death cases review in Ulster may get £30m

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The Independent Online

Northern Ireland's Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, may receive £30m in government funds to get to the bottom of unsolved murders from Northern Ireland's Troubles.

Patricia Lewsley, a Nationalist SDLP Assembly member, said the British Government was close to agreeing to put £30m into the cold cases review.

With Paul Murphy, the Northern Ireland Secretary, poised to announce his plan for a commissioner to represent Troubles' victims, she also claimed London was considering setting up an independent panel to look into whether there should be a truth and reconciliation commission to deal with the province's bloody past.

"If these proposals are confirmed, it will represent some progress but still short of what is needed," the member for Lagan Valley said. "The SDLP will continue to press, in coming days, for further movement including the quick creation of a Victims' Forum and the establishment now of a truth recovery process."

Last October, Mr Orde told the Northern Ireland Policing Board that top-calibre, retired detectives may be brought in to review around 1,800 unsolved cases once the financial backing is in place. Scientific advancements and new forensic science techniques would be made available to the investigations.

Ms Lewsley called for an inclusive and comprehensive truth recovery process to include the creation of a Victims' Forum, which would enable those who have suffered during the Troubles to take the lead role in dealing with, and carrying forward, proposals for dealing with the past.

She also said: "We need a public truth recovery process, where the IRA, UDA, other paramilitaries and elements of the state acknowledge and account for their actions."

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