The parents of an IRA man shot dead by the RUC 16 years ago have won permission to press ahead with legal attempts to gain access to files held by the force.
Hugh and Teresa Jordan, whose son Pearse was killed in west Belfast in November 1992, are seeking a High Court order compelling police to disclose all non-sensitive material relevant to an inquest.
With the long-delayed hearing due to open in January, they were granted leave to apply for a judicial review yesterday.
In an attempt to prevent any further slippage, a full hearing of the case is expected to be completed this month.
The unarmed 22-year-old was shot dead by the RUC in disputed circumstances on the Falls Road.
The High Court was told yesterday that lawyers for the Jordan family have compiled a list of documents which they want handed over.
Before granting leave, Mr Justice Stephens heard that applications for two public interest Immunity (PII) certificates were being prepared – one involving the Ministry of Defence and the other the secretary of state.
The judge, who expressed concern that the inquest may face further delays, also questioned whether further legal proceedings could be triggered if PII certificates were not granted for sensitive material which the police service then failed to disclose.
Outside the court the Jordan family’s solicitor, Fearghal Shiels, claimed the onus was on police chiefs to act.
“In circumstances where the chief constable conceded in October 2000 that the RUC was obliged to comply with a force order requiring him to provide all documents with the coroner to the bereaved family also, subject to issues of PII, the chief constable cannot, some eight years later, now refuse to comply with his legal obligations,” he said.