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crime and justice |
Tuesday December 11, 2012 22:41 by Brian Clarke - AllVoices
More Explosive Revealtions Later Today
Murder of two leading International Human Rights Lawyers, sanctioned at the highest level, by the British Government in Occupied Ireland
Human Rights Lawyers Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane Murdered by British Government
For the last 23 years the British government blocked an independent inquiry into Lawyer Pat Finucane's murder for the very simple reason, that the British Government itself, was responsible for the murder, claiming any inquiry would prejudice investigations by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, while another human rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson was also murdered by British agents in British Occupied Ireland at this time..
In 1999 Amnesty International commissioned three human rights barristers to check on whether the British Government was lying and if an independent inquiry would actually prejudice a criminal investigation.The barristers conclusion was that such an inquiry would not prejudice a criminal investigation.
Although Stevens One investigation was completed in May 1990, its findings were never made public but it later emerged that 2,000 British military and secret service files were placed in the the hands of loyalist sectarian killers who were being mentored by the British Government.
Stevens did unearth evidence the fact that another branch of Britain's secret services were involved with loyalist paramilitary assassinations. In January 1990 the Stevens team arrested Brian Nelson a known senior UDA intelligence officer and also an agent of the British army's Force Research Unit (FRU) with intimate involvement in Mr Finucane's murder.
Nelson faced 35 charges, that included aiding, abetting murder but in a legal deal these charges were all drastically reduced and he agreed to plead guilty much more minor ones.. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, serving just five and was not convicted of the Finucane murder.
A second investigation known as Stevens Two, was set up when a BBC documentary, The Dirty War( on a previous blog post), revealed Nelson had warned his British army handlers the UDA was targeting Mr Finucane for murder. The second investigation revealed that Nelson had been actively assisted by his British Government handlers, collating intelligence for the loyalist assassination squads of the UDA and UVF. Although Stevens Two lasted nearly three years, again the report was never published.
In 1999 a comprehensive new report into the murder was presented by the London-based human rights group, British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW) to the British Government.The document was passed to the RUC (British police in Ireland now renamed the PSNI) who called Sir John back to Ireland again. Having the murder investigation reopened, as opposed to an inquiry, angered the Finucane family, who insisted this investigation, to be simply, a government "stalling tactic".
In April 1999 a press conference by Stevens to launch his probe, declared that neither of his first two inquiries had previously investigated Mr Finucane's murder, contradicting the British government line through the 1990s whenhe said: "At no time was I given the authority by either the chief constable of the RUC or the DPP to investigate the murder of Pat Finucane."
Stevens Three lasted for years and still no-one was convicted of Mr Finucane's murder.Billy Stobie and Ken Barrett revealed to be informants for RUC Special Branch were charged with the murder but Stobie's trial which collapsed, when the Crown's main witness refused to give evidence. Less than a month later Stobie was shot dead.
A major development in the Finucane murder came eventually, when Sir John Stevens delivered a report stating officially that there had been British government collusion in the murder.Although he forwarded files on 20 serving and former British forces members to the DPP for prosecution, no-one has been prosecuted.
The British and Irish governments then appointed retired Canadian judge Peter Cory to determine if there should be inquiries into six murder cases involving allegations of security force collusion. Both governments pledged to abide by Judge Cory's findings.The Irish government published the two reports it received from Mr Cory . The British government reneged on its commitment and refused to publish any of the reports it received, claiming to be studying "legal and security implications" before any publication.
Judge Cory warned he would go public if the British government continued to renege on its commitment to publish.
"I have made noises that I considered appropriate at this time and I suppose there may come a time when I make more noise," he said.
Yesterday it was made public that a pistol used in the murder of Pat Finucane was handed back to the British Army by the RUC, according to previously unpublished papers. New details about the collusion between the RUC and the loyalist killers, who targeted the 38-year-old lawyer in 1989 have been revealed in a report.
The unpublished chapter from the Stevens Inquiry states a Browning pistol was recovered by police but was given back to the British Army, from where it had previously been 'stolen' by loyalist killers.
Mr Finucane's son Michael has said: "Unfortunately, many other families are in a similar position to ourselves where they are finding out after the fact because the material has been held back for so long." More explosive revelations will be published later today.
Caption: A License to Murder EP1 Part-1