Bookmaker murder gun on display in [British] museum

Posted By: May 29, 2015

Bimpe Archer . Irish News ( Belfast). May 29, 2015

A MISSING assault rifle used in the Sean Graham bookmakers atrocity was found on display in London’s Imperial War Museum, it has emerged. 
The weapon was one of the guns used in the 1992 attack by a UDA murder squad that killed five people and injured several others at the Ormeau Road bookmakers in south Belfast. 
The RUC – and subsequently the PSNI and Historical Enquiries Team – told the families of the murder victims that the weapon, a Czechoslovakian-manufactured automatic assault rifle, had been destroyed and no longer existed. 
In fact, it was a key exhibit in a British museum which displays memorabilia charting the country’s military endeavour from the First World War to the present day. 
The shocking revelation was detailed in a BBC Panorama programme last night examining the extent of security force collusion with paramilitary agents during the Troubles. 
Victms campaigner Mark Thompson, director of Relatives for Justice said relatives of victims were “absolutely shocked” to learn of the gun’s existence. 
He said families had been informed of the discovery by the Police Ombudsman. 
“There still is a deep sense of disbelief, shock and understandable anger,” he said. 
“Families and survivors of the attack are struggling to come to terms with this latest information.” 
The firearms had been provided by Special Branch/MI5 agent Brian Nelson, and the programme also detailed how the bookmakers’ shooting was linked to nine other murders, with state collusion alleged in all of them. 
The development came as Chief Constable George Hamilton hit out at claims there were “hundreds and hundreds” of deaths as a result of security force collusion. 
Former Police Ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan told Panorama that the police and British army allowed informers to commit crime, up to and including murder, with “impunity”. 
“They were running informants and they were using them. Their argument was that by so doing they were saving lives but hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people died because those people were not brought to justice and weren’t stopped in their tracks,” she said. 
Mr Hamilton questioned her assessment of the “scale” of killings and said informers had in fact saved “thousands of lives”. 
However, the PSNI chief admitted that during the Troubles, there were “no rules” governing how security force handlers dealt with agents.