The publication of the Wikileaks communications underlines the need for a transparent independent inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane.
The fact that the British Government want to control the flow of information concerning one of the most controversial killings of the conflict demonstrates the level of direct involvement at the highest level of the Conservative Thatcher government at the time of the killing.
Justice Cory, appointed by both goverments to establish if an inquiry was needed, was assured that he had been provided with all the necessary files concerning this murder – which one will always be sceptical of. Nonetheless Justice Cory decided that an independent inquiry was required into the killing.
That a sovereign government, that has a legal obligation to uphold the rule of law, to protect life and investigate independently when life is taken, would attempt to negotiate what it would provide to an inquiry that at its very core would be required to examine the involvement of that same government in the killing is nothing short of scandalous. It is in itself a devastating admission that many observers, including the international community, will conclude on.
The reality is that the name Pat Finucane is universally synonymous with the word collusion.
It is precisely for these reasons that it is imperative to have an inquiry into this murder that can forensically examine documents, files and question witnesses, and have the necessary powers to scrutinise all aspects of evidence in an open and transparent way so as the full facts surrounding this murder can be brought to light unhindered. The Inquiries Act is prohibitive to such a process of justice.
The introduction of the Inquiries Act, and the promise of providing files within that context, is duplicitous in that the Act permits a British Secretary for State to determine what can and cannot be disclosed. This defeats the purpose of any probe into the murder and thus of the very authors of Pat Finucane’s murder.
The fact is that since the introduction of the Inquires Act no self-respecting judge or legal figure within this jurisdiction, and for that matter beyond, has emerged or even stepped forward to consider hearing this case. Rather scores of domestic and international legal figures have ruled themselves out whilst being highly critical of the Inquiries Act.
Relatives for Justice support fully the Finucane family in their efforts to ensure that a proper inquiry into the murder of Pat is secured.