The family of an IRA man shot dead by police should receive damages for an 11-year delay in holding an inquest, the High Court heard yesterday.
Lawyers for Pearse Jordan’s parents claimed they were entitled to a pay-out for alleged failures by police and the coroner to hold a prompt tribunal.
The Jordan family are already involved in a separate legal bid to have quashed the findings reached by a jury examining the death.
Now a further challenge has been brought over the time it took to hold an inquest following a European court ruling on delay in the case.
Jordan was killed in disputed circumstances on the Falls Road in Belfast in 1992.
Witnesses claimed the police 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 in Northern Ireland involving allegations of a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy operated by the security forces.
In October 2012, 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 a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer after he got out of a red Ford Orion car that had been forcibly brought to a stop on the Falls Road.
Jurors also endorsed the findings of a post-mortem examination that he died of a bullet wound to his chest.
Lawyers for Jordan’s father, Hugh, have claimed the inquest was unfair and want a new hearing ordered.
Now, however, they have issued separate proceedings seeking damages and declaratory relief over the time taken for the tribunal to get under way.
In papers submitted as part of their case they claim various state agencies, particularly the coroner and PSNI, failed to ensure a prompt investigation which complied with European Human Rights.
The alleged delay occurred between May 2001 and September 2012.
The first date relates to a European Court ruling that the delay up to that point violated human rights. The second refers to when the inquest commenced.