Relatives fear opportunity for truth is being suppressed and squandered.

Relatives fear opportunity for truth is being suppressed and

25th June 2002

Director of Relatives for Justice Mark Thompson has released the
following statement:
“Deep concern has been expressed by the relatives of people killed as a
result of the British policy of collusion in Ireland by two
announcements made this week in relation to the scandal of new evidence
surrounding the British state’s running of death squads.

“The Stevens Team yesterday said that they were delaying the publication
of their findings until the autumn. Following Monday’s Relatives for
Justice press conference John Reid told the media that the report when
finalised, will first go to the chief constable who will decide whether
it is made public or not.

“Relatives for Justice has been inundated with calls from relatives
fearing that these announcements mean that truth is being suppressed and

“Since last December two known agents, involved in state death squads
have been found dead. Copious numbers of files and documents directly
relating to the day to day running of agents and the work of their
handlers, potentially crucial evidence, have been allegedly stolen from
Castlereagh – according to last Friday’s Guardian military intelligence
and Special Branch were responsible. Before this year other agents, have
also been found dead in very suspicious circumstances.

“Given revelations this week and the type of information likely to be
released by the Stevens Team early publication of the report is crucial.
The previous two Stevens reports must be made public now and assurances
about the full publication of Stevens 3 must be made. Evidence and
eyewitnesses must not continue to fall foul to dirty tricks. Not only
are lives at stake, but truth itself. Tony Blair must now grasp this
nettle and stop the stalling tactics by immediately initiating an
independent, international judicial inquiry into the arming, controlling
and directing of loyalists by the British state. If this peace process
is to mean anything, particularly to those people affected by collusion,
then this needs to happen immediately.”