Steven’s Report shows need for International Intervention on

Relatives for Justice’s Mark Thompson’s comments regarding the media
reports today on the soon to be published Steven’s report on collusion
and the killing of Human Rights Lawyer Pat Finucane.

This report confirms publicly what relatives of people killed as a
result of collusion and Relatives for Justice have been saying for
decades – that state forces, in particular special branch acted to arm
loyalists, provide information to loyalists, cover up loyalist killings
and the state’s central yet hidden role in these killings.

The only things that surprise us are doubts expressed in the Stevens
Report that there was official co-ordination of this collusion or that
it was institutionalised.

There is no doubt that collusion is an official policy that has included
the RUC, British Military and Military Intelligence. All of these have
been co-ordinated by government and ‘security’ officials at the Task
Co-ordinating Group (TCG), directly under the responsibility of the
Joint Security Committee (JSC) in London which is directly accountable
to the British Cabinet. It is here that collusion was devised, and
sanctioned. It is at this level that we will find the answers to the
questions about who is responsible for the hundreds of killings of Irish
nationalists by loyalists.

There were no answerable structures, and no systems of accountability,
for special branch members running agents. Special branch gave loyalists
information about targets. They worked with military intelligence to arm
them with weapons. They thwarted investigations into murders. They
destroyed all evidence, refusing to co-operate with those seeking
transparency and information. Surely this defines a proactive policy of
institutionalised collusion.

The Stevens Report proves that there is an urgent need for independent
intervention on the subject of collusion through an international,
independent judicial inquiry into the arming, and directing of loyalist
terrorist organisations by the British state.

Relatives for Justice has documented 229 killings from 1988 – 1994 in
its pamphlet entitled Collusion  These killings were a direct
result of the importation of South African weapons by British Military
Intelligence who then passed the deadly arsenal onto loyalists, along
with thousands of ‘P’ files containing the personal details of many of
those targeted. Relatives for Justice represents and supports the
families left devastated by that legacy. It is now time to move towards
what John Stevens said was lacking – “transparency and accountability” –
and that includes immediately initiating this overdue impartial
investigation. This and only this will begin to address the deep hurt of
our community caused by the policy of institutionalised state collusion
practised during the conflict in Ireland.