The family of Pat Finucane, the Northern Ireland lawyer murdered by Loyalist gunmen, have walked out on British Prime Minister David Cameron after he refused to grant them an independent inquiry into his death. He instead offered a review, conducted by a leading lawyer.
Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine told reporters outside 10 Downing Street that she “felt so angry I can hardly speak.”
Finucane was eating dinner at his north Belfast home when he was gunned down by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989.
Finucane advocates have claimed that the cover up of his killing goes to the very highest levels of the British government and may even have led to Margaret Thatcher herself.
Just before his death, Finucane had been named in the British parliament by one of Thatcher’s ministers as a lawyer who was too close to the IRA.
His family have long sought an independent public inquiry. One was promised by Tony Blair but never delivered. There were high hopes that Cameron would announce such an inquiry.
Speaking afterwards, Mrs Finucane stated, "He (David Cameron) is offering a review. He wants a QC to read the papers in my husband's case and that is how he expects to reach the truth.
"All of us are very upset and very disappointed."
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Mr Finucane's son Michael stated of the review, "The family of Pat Finucane will not be allowed to participate, we will not be allowed to read documents for ourselves, we will not be allowed to ask questions of witnesses, if indeed any witnesses are going to be questioned.
"We will not be allowed to put our point of view across, we will simply not be a part of this process at all.
"How could anybody sign up to something like that - it's a farce.”
Cameron’s office issued a statement saying, "The prime minister expressed his profound sympathy for the family and said it was clear from (the) Stevens and Corey (inquiries) that statecollusion had taken place in Mr Finucane's murder and he accepted these conclusions.
"On behalf of the government he apologized to the family.
"He confirmed that the government's priority was to get to the truth in the best and most effective way and the secretary of state will set out the details for this process shortly."
SDLP justice spokesperson Alban Maginness stated that the decision was "unacceptable", "After all this length of time one would have expected better from the British government and prime minister on an issue that runs deep into the British military and security complex" he added.
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