NI: UK government apologises over delay in decision on Pat Finucane case

NI: UK government apologises over delay in decision on Pat Finucane case

The UK government has apologised to the family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane for taking nearly two years to respond to a landmark UK Supreme Court ruling on their case.

The Supreme Court ruled in February 2019 that the state has failed to deliver an Article 2 compliant investigation into the death of Mr Finucane, who was shot and killed by loyalist paramilitaries in collusion with the UK security forces.

The government has not yet said how it will respond to the ruling, but senior counsel for Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis yesterday apologised and told the High Court in Belfast that a decision will be forthcoming on or before 30 November 2020.

Mr Finucane’s widow Geraldine Finucane, represented by Peter Madden of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, launched new proceedings in the High Court late last week to challenge the 20-month delay in reaching a decision.

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Finucane said: “My family and I are absolutely committed to achieving our goal of an independent public inquiry into all the circumstances surrounding Pat’s murder. We always have been. We will not be deflected or defeated by the wilful ignorance or unlawful delays of the British government.

“As was stated during the hearing of the case, the failure to address the issues raised by the judgment of the UK Supreme Court in February 2019 was insult added to injury. Pat’s murder was the injury inflicted by the British when they colluded with loyalists. Deliberately delaying the public inquiry adds the insult.

“The focus of my family is the public inquiry that this case demands. There is no other mechanism that is capable of getting to the truth. I expect fully that the Secretary of State will confirm on or before 30 November 2020 that a public inquiry is to be established. Nothing less will do.”

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