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18 September 2003 Edition

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Open the files

Speculation that intelligence gathering in the Six Counties will in the near future be controlled by MI5 offers no assurance that a policy of collusion that has operated for the last two decades and been sanctioned at the highest levels will be abandoned.

Any attempt to put MI5 in charge is merely a smokescreen to deflect attention from the record of Special Branch in their role in a policy of collusion aimed at killing members of the nationalist and republican community.

Collusion is the abuse of power by the state. Cosmetic changes or name changes do not alter the fact that a specific policy of collusion between British state forces and unionist paramilitaries has resulted in the killings of countless nationalists and republicans. MI5 was an integral part of the architecture and the policy of collusion.

No one will be fooled into believing that any change has taken place within the architecture - involving British securocrats from a number of agencies - until and unless the British government acknowledges its role in the deliberate policy of collusion and the murder of citizens.

It is time to open up the files. There is a widespread demand for the truth to come out. It is about the issue of accountability and MI5 is not accountable. The British government needs to tell us how it intends to bring real accountability to the heart of all policing operations carried out in the North.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1