Family condemns 'sham' report
FAMILY REACTION:The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has pinned its hopes for an inquiry into his 1989 killing on a change of government in Britain, following their condemnation of a new report as “a sham”.
Rejecting the De Silva report, Mr Finucane’s widow, Geraldine, said she welcomed the personal apology of prime minister David Cameron, although she said it “wouldn’t have done him any favours” if he had avoided doing so.
“After all, he is a human being. He probably does think it is an atrocious act, but, unfortunately, he is quite removed from Northern Ireland and what went on in the late 80s . . .
“It doesn’t go far enough,” she added, shortly after she and her sons, Michael and John, brother-in-law Dermot and Mr Finucane’s solicitor-partner, Kevin Madden, had listened to Mr Cameron’s speech in the Commons.
The family had been unaware of earlier plans to kill Mr Finucane, Ms Finucane said, which were known in considerable depth in 1981, 1985 and, finally, months before the solicitor was murdered.
Michael Finucane said the security services had run “an extraordinary policy” of not warning people that they were in danger “because they might publicise the threat and thus compromise, or potentially compromise, the existence of a valuable intelligence source.
“David Cameron referred repeatedly in the House ‘to what went wrong’. Nothing went wrong here.
‘Thorn in the side’
“This is exactly what this system was designed to do: to improve and focus the targeting of loyalist paramilitaries over many years, so that those who were described as ‘a thorn in the side’ of the authorities could be removed – killed – in circumstances where the state could deny any overarching responsibility whatsoever; any responsibility, in fact.
“In simple terms, there are people dead who should be alive today,” he told journalists. “Pat Finucane is one of them. There are probably hundreds of others.”
John Finucane said it was clear that Mr de Silva had seen documents that were not shown to the investigation led by Sir John Stevens, or to the later inquiry carried out by Canadian judge Peter Cory.
“Are we to accept on this occasion that that is the totality of all of the information that exists?” he asked. “We are certainly very cynical.”