Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Geraldine Finucane speaking to reporters outside the Supreme Court in London in February. Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images
Belfast

MI5 'destroyed material' held by inquiry examining Pat Finucane murder

The solicitor was shot dead by loyalists at his home in Belfast in 1989.

MI5 DESTROYED SECRET information from computer hard drives being held by an inquiry examining the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane, according to a new documentary.

The human rights solicitor was shot dead by loyalists in front of his wife and three children at his home in Belfast on 12 February 1989.

Finucane’s family believes state collusion in his murder went to the top of the British government and repeatedly called for a public inquiry to be held.

New allegations surrounding his killing feature in a BBC Spotlight programme due to air tonight. 

Retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory, head of the inquiry, complained to the Metropolitan Police about the deletion of the material but decided against pursuing the matter in a bid to prevent a diplomatic incident.

The programme reports that in 2002 MI5 told Cory’s staff they were removing all the inquiry’s hard drives in the interests of national security. In 2004, Cory recommended that a public inquiry into Finucane’s killing be held, but this has not happened to date.

‘Insecure’ computer system 

BBC Spotlight said it was told that MI5 was concerned the inquiry’s computer system was “insecure” and a leak could expose the identities of informers.

Judge Cory had printed back-up copies of the material and believes nothing was ultimately lost.

Finucane’s widow, Geraldine, told the programme: “I was told that papers marked ‘cabinet eyes only’ involved the collusion and the killing of my husband. There is something there that needs to be exposed.”

In February of this year, the UK Supreme Court ruled there has been no valid inquiry into the killing. At the time, the Finucane family’s solicitor said the decision “vindicated” their “relentless campaign” for justice.

BBC Spotlight will also tonight reveal that the late Willie Frazer, who campaigned for victims of republican violence, had a role in distributing weapons to loyalist paramilitary groups.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
41
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel