A long-awaited report into the 1989 murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane will be published on Wednesday, December 12, the Northern Ireland Office has confirmed.

Experienced senior counsel Sir Desmond de Silva QC re-examined the evidence into the shooting in north Belfast.

The murder of the Catholic father-of-three was one of the most controversial of the Northern Ireland Troubles, with allegations that the British state colluded with Protestant paramilitaries to facilitate the killing.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has accepted collusion took place and has apologized to the Finucane family.

But the solicitor’s relatives have been critical of the review ordered by Cameron, claiming it falls long short of the full public inquiry they have long campaigned for.

Sir Desmond has said his report will included previously highly classified documents relating to the murder.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers outlined the timetable for publication this week.  She is due to make a statement to the House of Commons on the day the report is published.

Two weeks ago she said a thorough check prior to publication was necessary to rule out security breaches.

She said highly sensitive material given by the government to Sir Desmond would not be included. This follows concerns about identifying sources, she said.

She added that the British government had a legal obligation to examine the report to make sure lives and national security were not endangered. The report would be published as soon as possible after the security checks and the Finucane family would be offered the chance to see it first.

But Finucane relatives, who have been critical of the review from the outset, said the security exercise should have been done by the courts. They claimed the government security check would further undermine the credibility of the document.

Finucane’s son John said it was not appropriate for the state to control the information published in a report that was supposed to be examining its alleged role in a murder.

He said at the time, “This confirms again that the government, who on the one hand are being accused of collusion in the murder of my father, and the prime minister has accepted that there was collusion, controls the flow of information - which I don't think is credible.

“It is not a process that I think is independent. We think that process is best managed by a court.”