Relatives for Justice Director, Mark Thompson, has today written to the Justice Minister David Ford MLA seeking clarity as to whether or not the former RUC Reservist at the centre of the Police Ombudsman’s report into the Loughinisland murders which claimed the lives of six people is eligible to benefit from the twenty-million pound handout as part of the political deal in achieving the devolution of criminal justice and policing powers.
The scheme, drawn up by the NIO after the Hillsborough talks, is to be administered by the new Department of Justice which has already placed advertisements in local papers. A member of Relatives for Justice who had a relative killed by an RUC Reservist is seeking to challenge the payout on a number of grounds.
Mr. Thompson said;
‘It’s apparent that this former RUC Reservist played a key role in the UVF attack.
‘Yesterday’s revelation that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is not to proceed with a prosecution is highly questionable given that the investigation by the Police Ombudsman has not been fully completed or investigative leads fully exhausted.
‘This adds to a long list of cases in which members of the RUC and British army yet again avoid prosecution despite their collusive roles being exposed.
‘Ensuring that this individual is not brought to trial will be viewed as protecting others further up the chain of command including the role of Special Branch. This calls into question yet again the role of the PPS and the PSNI concerning legacy cases involving collusion.
‘Many will see this decision by the PPS and the PSNI as a de-facto form of impunity that stands in stark contrast to the case of Gerry McGeogh and Vincent McAnespie.
‘RFJ have advised that the families consider seeking independent advices from leading prosecuting counsel of this decision much in the same way the family of Thomas Devlin did.
‘Today we have also written to the Justice Minister David Ford about the RUC Reservist involved in these murders to establish if that same individual could benefit form the twenty-million pound handout which formed part of the political deal on the devolution of criminal justice and policing powers.
‘It is our view that this person could potentially benefit from the twenty-million pound which in part goes to the heart of why this scheme is morally, and in our view, legally wrong.’ ENDS