Today the British Government has declined to hold a public inquiry into the murder of my husband, Pat Finucane. Instead, the Secretary of State proposes to leave the case in the hands of the PSNI and the NI Police Ombudsman for further investigation.
This proposal falls so far short of what is required in this case that it beggars belief. It makes a mockery of the decision by the UK Supreme Court and the forthright comments of Belfast High Court. It is yet another insult added to a deep and lasting injury.
The UK Supreme Court made it clear that none of the previous investigations, including police investigations, had uncovered the identity of British security force members who engaged in collusion or the precise nature of the assistance they gave to paramilitaries. The Court highlighted the absence of compulsive powers in the De Silva Review and its inability to test the truthfulness of witnesses. The Supreme Court made it clear that an effective investigation had not yet taken place.
In response to this, the current Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, proposes that we should engage with the local police as a potential solution. He proposes that we should engage with the local police complaints bureau to address a case that involves proven collusion by the British State in the murder of a solicitor. This is a farcical proposal. The issue before the British Government – as Mr. Lewis and his colleagues in government know only too well – is the involvement of a multitude of British State agencies in the murder of Pat Finucane.
There is only one reason to ask the local police to investigate a case that involves the British Army, the Security Services and former members of government: that reason is to ensure they will be untouchable. It is this internalisation of the issue to Northern Ireland that has allowed those responsible for the murder of Pat Finucane to do so with impunity.
In failing to establish a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, the British Government have not only set themselves against my family but also the Irish government, local, national and international political parties, political institutions, legal and human rights groups domestically and internationally.
The murder of Pat Finucane has been described as not just an attack on one lawyer but an attack on the rule of law itself. The Secretary of State has shown us today that the attack is continuing. They have clearly set themselves against the rule of law in ignoring the highest court of their own jurisdiction. They remain in breach of their international legal obligations, a shameful and inexcusable position for a sovereign government to take.
They have again shown that they have no intention in admitting their role in the conflict here. Colluding with killers did not just result in my husband’s murder, but many others. The extent and depth of this political policy is what the British government fear being exposed. The outcome of our meeting today confirms that once again.
We are grateful for the enormous support we have received. We will continue to campaign for a full public inquiry. The questions that demand answers around Pat’s murder are not going away and neither is our campaign for truth and justice.