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29 March 2001 Edition

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FRU targeted Finucane

by Laura Friel

Tony Blair must face up to the reality that he is totally isolated in his attempts to ignore the international demand for justice for Pat Finucane, according to the brother of the assassinated Belfast soliticor. Martin Finucane was speaking after further revelations which confirmed that a covert British army intelligence unit, the FRU, was directly involved in the 1989 killing.

A Sunday newspaper revealed that the FRU targeted Pat Finucane by ``scouting the routes in and out of North Belfast where the Finucane family lived''. The article also revealed that Brian Nelson's FRU handler ``gave Mr. Finucane's photograph to Nelson who then passed it to the hit squad''.

Martin Finucane said that information concerning his brother's death was now being made public on a weekly basis, detailing the involvement of Crown force personnel in the killing.

``How long can the British government resist telling the Finucane family the truth about the circumstances surrounding the murder?'' he asked. ``The longer they resist the establishment of an independent public inquiry into this murder and the circumstances surrounding it the more they shame themselves internationally.''

Last week, the Finucane family's call for an independent inquiry was endorsed for a second time by the US Congress. Next week, the matter will be raised again in the United Nations by a number of UN Special Rapporteurs.

When Tony Blair established the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday his reasons were he said: ``Where the state's own authorities are concerned, we must be as sure as we can of the truth, precisely because we pride ourselves on our democracy and respect for the law and on the professionalism and dedication of our security forces.''

Calling for issues raised by investigative journalists and whistleblowers to be examined in public, Martin Finucane said: ``There is nothing more urgent or of public importance, than unrefuted allegations that the state's own authorities murdered one of its lawyers because that lawyer successfully sought the protection of the law for the state's own citizens.''

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