Issue 1 - 2023 front

25 May 2000 Edition

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Britain's dirty war exposed

British MI5 officers destroyed vital evidence of murder in a shoot to kill inquiry case.

A recommendation by a senior British policeman to charge the MI5 officers with perverting the course of justice was dismissed.

A decision to pursue prosecutions of the MI5 officers by the Director of Public Prosecutions was overturned by the British Attorney General.

The senior British policeman who initially discovered MI5 had tape recorded the killing was removed from the inquiry amidst spurious allegations.

British ministers agreed to cover up the evidence ``in the public interest''.

These are the latest revelations exposing the ruthless determination of the British government to suppress evidence of the operation of a shoot-to-kill policy in the north of Ireland.

These facts alone are sufficient to confirm what northern nationalists have asserted for 30 years. British crown force personnel have carried out summary executions of republicans and nationalists and the British government has colluded in suppressing the truth.

In plain language, successive British governments have engaged in state-sponsored murders of Irish people, including unarmed civilians and and captured IRA Volunteers.

Michael Tighe was 17 years of age when he was shot dead and his friend Martin McCauley (19) was seriously wounded by a covert RUC squad in a hay shed a few miles from Lurgan in County Armagh in November 1982.

In a clear breach of regulations, the RUC opened fired without warning, the survivor claimed, but vital evidence which would have supported Martin McCauley's version of events was destroyed.

British Military Intelligence had bugged the hay shed, where they believed IRA weapons were being stored and had tape recorded the entire RUC operation. British police chief John Stalker discovered the existence of the tape but was told it had been routinely destroyed.

What Stalker didn't know was that a copy of the tape had been made by a soldier from the British Army's special collation team monitoring the MI5 bug. Following Stalker's inquiries into the tape, MI5 officers ordered the copy to be destroyed and John Stalker was removed from the investigation.

Colin Sampson, the then chief constable of West Yorkshire, replaced Stalker in the investigation. In a report which the British government refused to make public, he recommended the prosecution of the RUC officers involved.

Sampson discovered that a copy of the tape, which would have confirmed that Michael Tighe had been killed unlawfully, had been deliberately destroyed. Sampson recommended that the MI5 officers responsible should be charged with perverting the course of justice.

Barry Shaw, the north's Director of Public Prosecutions at the time, also believed the British intelligence officers should face prosecution. The then British Attorney General Patrick Mayhew and NIO Secretary of State Tom King stopped the prosecutions, citing ``the public interest.''


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