23 February 2006

Cory criticises inquiry 'changes'

BBC


Peter Cory has criticised government inquiry plans

Judge Peter Cory has said he is frustrated the government has "moved the goalposts" following his report into controversial NI murders.

The retired Canadian judge said he did not know what the national security interest was in limiting the Pat Finucane murder inquiry.

"It's like playing hockey and instead of six to each team you have one team with eight and one with four.

"See how you do for 10 minutes and then we're going to change," Mr Cory said.

"In the middle of everything you move the goalposts and you change the rules of the game."

Mr Finucane, a north Belfast solicitor, was shot dead by the UDA in 1989.

Mr Cory and the Finucane family objects to the Inquiries Bill, which provides the framework for a hearing into the murder.

Under this bill, a British government minister can rule whether the inquiry sits in public or private.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Northern Ireland Office said: "The government is committed to establishing an independent statutory inquiry with full powers to require the production of all the relevant documents and most importantly to compel witnesses to attend.

"The inquiry must also, as Judge Cory recommends, be public to the extent possible. An inquiry under the Inquiries Act is the only way to establish the truth."

Speaking ahead of a lecture at Queen's University Belfast, Mr Cory said he was not sorry he got involved in examining the controversial killings.

"Do I regret it? No. It had to be done to perhaps shed some light on an unfortunate situation," he said.

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