British government extraordinarily reckless in Pat Finucane case response

Posted By: December 06, 2020


Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane who was shot dead in his home in 1989 and whose family’s request for a full public inquiry was refused by the British government this week

Newton Emerson. Irish News. Belfast. Saturday, December 5, 2020

When the Supreme Court ruled last year there had not been a human rights compliant investigation into the murder of Pat Finucane, it added this did not mean there had to be a full public inquiry: “it is for the state to decide what form of investigation, if any, is now feasible”.

So the secretary of state Brandon Lewis, in announcing there would be no inquiry, could have offered a wide range of possible alternatives – or none.

What he chose to do was to pass the buck to the PSNI and the Police Ombudsman, who last looked at the case in 2016. They have no new leads, no resources to look for leads, and plainly had no idea what Lewis was talking about.

It appears that to spare its blushes, the government casually dragged the PSNI and the complaints body for the PSNI into continuing controversy over one of the worst scandals of the Troubles.

The recklessness of this is extraordinary.