UN links RUC to 1989 killing of Finucane

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The Independent Online
A UNITED Nations human rights investigator repeated his call yesterday for an independent judicial inquiry into claims of security force collusion in the 1989 killing of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The Malaysian jurist Dato Param Cumaraswamy said there was prima facie evidence of security force involvement in the murder and he called for the establishment of a Royal Commission of inquiry into the issue. Mr Finucane was shot dead in front of his wife and three young children by Ulster Freedom Fighters who burst into his home.

The RUC Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, said: "This is potentially damaging and I characterise it as being unfair in its allegations, not being based on evidence. I acted instantly on recommendations he had made, so to suggest there has been inaction and complacency is absolutely without foundation."

Mr Cumaraswamy also spoke at the UN human rights commission in Geneva on the car bomb murder last month of the solicitor Rosemary Nelson. He noted that she had lodged complaints against RUC officers and had expressed no confidence in the force's investigatory mechanisms. Referring to the Finucane case, he said he was "even more convinced now that there is a stronger case made out for a Royal Commission into that murder to ascertain whether there was security forces, including RUC, collusion in that murder."

Sir Ronnie has called in outside police forces to investigate the Nelson killing. Yesterday the FBI, which is taking part, said it was fully confident that all appropriate lines of inquiry were being pursued. Speaking at RUC headquarters in Belfast, the FBI legal attache John E. Guido paid tribute to the force's "very dedicated and professional inquiry team".

Norfolk Deputy Chief Constable Colin Port, who is to lead the investigation, said he would head a team of 50 officers from six different forces. "It is clear that without the involvement of RUC officers my investigation would be severely handicapped. Working together affords the greatest opportunity to prosecute those responsible for this vile and violent crime."

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