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8 November 2001 Edition

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'Colonel J' to face questioning?

Commenting on newspaper reports that the infamous Colonel 'J' from the Brian Nelson affair is to be questioned by the Stevens team, Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey said:

"I will look forward with interest to the results of these interviews. But it is a matter of record, however, that neither my party nor myself have any confidence that the present inquiry will expose the truth about the activities of the FRU and its cronies in RUC special Branch.

"Sinn Féin has always supported the demands of the families for a full and independent international public inquiry into the murders of their loved ones. That is still our position.

"We believe that only an independent international public inquiry with powers of subpoena is capable of exposing the extent of the collusion between FRU, RUC Special Branch and pro-Union death squads. We believe that it went all the way to the upper echelons of the British establishment and that is what prompted Patrick Mayhew, when Solicitor General in the Major government, to make the deal that silenced Nelson.

"I, myself, was a victim of this collusion. My legal representatives are in possession of evidence, admitted by Colonel 'J' during cross-examination in court that FRU and Brian Nelson were involved in a conspiracy to murder me as well as an actual attack in 1987 that left me critically injured after having been shot. I have raised this with Tony Blair on a number of occasions and will continue to do so until I receive satisfaction.

"In all the hype about the renaming of the RUC as the PSNI it should be remembered that those RUC personnel that assisted the FRU and Brian Nelson in these murderous deeds will today transfer directly into the PSNI - hardly a new beginning."

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