26 February 2004 Edition
McGuinness calls for statement on Brian Nelson
Sinn FÉin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness has called for full publication of the Stevens Reports following revelations by a Belfast journalist that "based on Stevens' reports accessed by us and confirmed by authoritative sources" he could now detail those who died as a "direct or indirect result" of Nelson's activities.
"Mr Blair and Hugh Orde need to make a statement in regards to the veracity of these revelations by a highly respected journalist," said McGuinness.
"In a Belfast Sunday paper, Chris Thornton revealed that he had accessed Stevens' reports that reveal evidence of Brian Nelson's "direct and indirect" involvement in a total of 13 murders between 1986 and 1989. Among these 13 murders was that of Sinn Féin Councillor John Davey, murdered in the laneway leading to his home at Gulladuff as he returned from a Council meeting. No one was ever charged with John's murder.
"Chris Thornton's investigation also uncovered to some extent how Nelson was controlled by the Force Resistance Unit — describing it as ostensibly to ensure 'proper targeting' by the UDA instead of simply murdering random Catholics. Despite this alleged attempt to confine Nelson's murderous exploits to targeting republicans, the majority of those murdered in collusion with the FRU were totally uninvolved non-combatants. Besides the 13 murders, the article points out that Nelson was also responsible for a further 14 attempted murders and 62 conspiracies to murder. The British Government must explain to the relatives of the victims and to those that survived attempts to murder them by agents of the state who authorised these actions and why their loved ones were targeted."