Further Delay In Finucane Probe Decision

The case of a Belfast solicitor murdered by loyalists over two decades ago is still making the news today as Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson revealed the latest development in the House of Commons.

The announcement came after various probes into how Patrick Finucane came to be killed in 1989 - with the Army, police and intelligence service all alleged to have been implicated in the death at some level as it was said to have been carried out by loyalist paramilitaries who doubled as security force agents.

Today's news comes after years of deadlock over what has since become one of the most controversial cases of the Northern Ireland Troubles when the Finucane family rejected efforts by the previous Labour government to conduct an investigation under the 2005 Inquiries Act and claimed it gave ministers undue influence over the outcome.

Today, Owen Paterson said: "In my written statement of 11 November, I set out a period of two months during which I would receive representations as to whether it is in the public interest that I should establish a public inquiry into the death of Patrick Finucane.

"As part of this process, my officials have had a constructive meeting with representatives of the Finucane family and a further meeting will be arranged.

"In light of the fact that useful discussions are underway between the family and the Government, I have decided, with the agreement of the family, to extend the period during which I will receive representations by two months.

"When this further period has concluded it remains my intention to consider the family's views carefully and in detail, along with any other relevant representations I receive, before taking a decision as to whether or not it is in the public interest to hold a public inquiry into the death of Patrick Finucane," he told the House of Commons in a written statement.


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The British Government's decision not to approve an inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane has been greeted with varied reactions. The Finucane family were said to be furious and disappointed yesterday when British Prime Minister, David Cameron said that he was only prepared to offer was a QC–led review of the case.
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