11 December 2005

Finucane family to meet Empey

Daily Ireland

The family of murdered Belfast human rights solicitor Pat Finucane is to meet Ulster Unionist leader Reg Empey MP next week for the first time to discuss the case.
The talks with the former Stormont Economy Minister are part of a series of meetings with political leaders across the political spectrum in Ireland to lobby support for an independent public inquiry into Pat Finucane’s murder.
Mr Finucane was gunned down in front of his family in his North Belfast home by a UDA gang operating out of the Lower Shankill. British army agent Brian Nelson supplied the murder gang with intelligence on Pat Finucane and helped plan his murder.
Special Branch agent Billy Stobie, who was murdered by the UDA in 2001 after calling for a public inquiry into the solicitor’s murder, admitted telling his RUC handlers before the killing that he supplied the murder gang with a weapon used in the attack. At least two other Special Branch agents - former West Belfast UDA leader Tommy Lyttle and UDA gunman Ken Barrett, who was found guilty of Pat Finucane’s murder last year, were also involved in the killing.
In 2003 former Metropolitan Police chief John Stevens said believed Pat Finucane was a victim of collusion between members of the security forces and loyalists and that his murder could have been prevented.
A spokesman for Mr Finucane’s family said that Monday’s meeting with Reg Empey at Unionist Party headquarters was the latest in a round of meetings with the leaders of political parties.
“We are looking for cross-party support for our demand for a full independent public inquiry into Pat’s murder,” said his brother Martin Finucane.
Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory recommended separate inquiries into Mr Finucane's murder, and three other killings including the deaths of solicitor Rosemary Nelson, loyalist Billy Wright and Catholic father of two Robert Hamill, but there’s alarm at British moves to ensure the tribunal into Mr Finucane's murder is held under the restrictive Inquiries Act.

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