23 September 2004 Edition
British are out of excuses
The British Government has run out of excuses with regard to the Pat Finucane case. The latest attempt to delay justice, even after Judge Peter Cory recommended a public inquiry into the 1989 killing of the human rights solicitor, was the contention that no inquiry could go ahead while criminal charges against Ken Barrett were pending.
With Barrett's conviction, that matter is now resolved and the British Government, under scrutiny by human rights organisations at home and abroad for its policy of colluding with unionist death squads, has no more cover to hide behind.
As Martin McGuinness said this week, the issue of collusion has been on the agenda of every discussion with Tony Blair since Sinn Féin first met him in 1997. The British Government has been left in no doubt that the cover up must end. They must not dilute or further delay a full independent international public inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane.
Successive British Governments have gone to extraordinary lengths to cover up the involvement of their military, intelligence and police agencies in the murder of citizens.
Tony Blair and his colleagues know that Pat Finucane's killing is only the tip of the iceberg. Pat Finucane and hundreds of others died as a consequence of an administrative practice that oversaw British agencies arming, training, providing target lists and information for unionist paramilitaries, who then carried out countless murders.
Collusion, and specifically the killing of Pat Finucane, are serious matters about which the British Government cannot continue to hide the truth.