Relatives of an IRA man shot dead by police 20 years ago are to launch a legal bid to quash verdicts reached at his inquest, it was revealed on Thursday.
Lawyers for the family of Pearse Jordan are preparing a High Court challenge to the jury’s findings, claiming the tribunal was flawed and ineffective.
Jordan, 23, was killed in disputed circumstances on the Falls Road, west Belfast in November 1992.
Witnesses claimed the RUC shot him in the back as he tried to flee after the stolen car he was driving was rammed.
His death was one of several high-profile cases during the Troubles which involved allegations of a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy operated by the security forces.
Last month a long-delayed inquest failed to reach agreement on key aspects.
The jury was split on whether reasonable force was used in the circumstances, the state of belief on the part of the officer who fired the fatal shots, and whether any alternative course of action was open to him.
They did agree that Jordan was shot by an RUC officer after he got out a red Ford Orion car which had been forcibly brought to a stop on the Falls Road.
The jury also endorsed the findings of a post mortem examination that he died of a bullet wound to his chest.
Lawyers for the Jordan family were due to appeal against being refused permission to use a report into the ‘shoot-to-kill’ claims as part of cross-examination of three police witnesses at the inquest.
However, that challenge is now to be included in a much more wide-ranging legal bid to have the jury’s findings thrown out.
Barry Macdonald QC told the Court of Appeal: “An inquest of sorts has now taken place.
“A verdict has been accepted by the coroner to the effect that Pearse Jordan was shot and died of gunshot wounds.
“That will be subject to an application for leave to apply for judicial review in due course.”
The new challenge is also expected to deal with anonymity being granted to police witnesses and whether a jury should ever be appointed for similarly controversial inquests.
Outside the court the Jordan family’s solicitor, Fearghal Shiels, of Madden & Finucane, confirmed: “We are seeking to have the inquest verdict quashed.
“The inquest was fundamentally flawed in a number of significant respects.
“The jury failed to reach a verdict on key questions focusing on how Pearse Jordan met his death and accordingly it should have been discharged and a new panel appointed.”