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22 January 2004 Edition

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Sinn Féin raise Cory Report and Brown case at Review talks

A Sinn Féin delegation consisting of Bairbre de Brún, Mitchel McLaughlin, Geraldine Dougan and Philip McGuigan met with the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy at Hillsborough on Wednesday. Speaking after the meeting, Sinn Féin Assembly member Bairbre de Brún said the delegation had raised the conduct of the forthcoming Review, due to start on 3 February, the continuing failure of the British Government to publish or act upon the Cory Report and the report published this week by the Police Ombudsman into the murder of Seán Brown.

"We restated our position to the British Secretary of State that we would resist any move to make the Review a protracted process or a renegotiation process," said de Brún. "The Review needs to be short, sharp and focused and it must not become a substitute for working political institutions or for the governments fulfilling outstanding commitments. The Agreement envisaged a Review taking place against a background of working political institutions. We emphasised to Paul Murphy the need to lift suspension.

"We also took the opportunity to raise again with the British government their continuing failure to publish or act upon the Cory Report in contravention of public commitments given after the Weston Park talks. The British government cannot continue to hide behind bogus legal arguments in an attempt to stall the truth behind their collusion policy.

"Today's meeting was the first such engagement since the publication this week of the Police Ombudsman's damning report into the killing of Seán Brown. This report raises again a number of fundamental questions about policing and the activities of British state agencies. It again reveals the fact that the Special Branch remain at the very core of the current policing arrangements. The force within a force prevails. Evidence is continuing to be withheld and files are continuing to go missing.

"Sinn Féin will continue to support families who have seen loved ones killed through the policy of collusion as they seek to find answers from the British Government."

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