01 February 2006

‘Former colleagues will try to kill me’

Daily Ireland

By Connla Young


A retired member of the RUC yesterday said he believes his former colleagues will try to kill him.
Former RUC man Johnston “Jonty” Brown made the claim during a BBC Radio 4 interview.
During the interview, it emerged that the former CID detective sergeant had recently been warned that the Ulster Volunteer Force in north Belfast had his home address and vehicle details and was planning to attack him.
After confirming that he was in fear of his life, Mr Brown told interviewer Fergal Keane that he believed some of his former police colleagues would help try to kill him.
“I fear that the people that are nominated as those who are coming after me have been sent in my direction by those sinister elements to which I refer within the Special Branch.”
Mr Keane then asked the former Special Branch man: “So you believe your police colleagues in Special Branch are still trying to kill you?” Mr Brown replied: “Yes, I do.”
A spokesperson for the Police Ombudsman’s office last night said the team would examine Mr Brown’s remarks closely.
“We will get a tape of the programme and look at what Mr Brown has said.
“We need to examine what Mr Brown has said and hear the context in which he said it,” said the spokesperson.
Johnston Brown served in the RUC and PSNI for almost 30 years.
He was responsible for helping to put former Ulster Defence Association (UDA) boss Johnny Adair behind bars in 1995 on charges of directing terrorism. Adair’s UDA C company faction carried out a pipe-bomb attack on Mr Brown’s Co Antrim home in October 2000.
The former RUC detective sergeant recruited one-time UDA hitman Ken Barrett as an informer in 1991.
To date, Mr Barrett is the only person to have been convicted in connection with the murder of the solicitor Pat Finucane, who was gunned down in his north Belfast home by the UDA in 1989.
It was Mr Brown who revealed that RUC Special Branch had switched undercover recordings of Ken Barrett confessing his part in the Finucane murder before the recordings were handed over to officials from the Stevens inquiry.
Despite having a taped admission made to Mr Brown in 1991, the RUC refused to prosecute Ken Barrett.
Instead, Special Branch recruited him as an informer.
Mr Brown recently described Ken Barrett as “the most sinister man I ever met”.
The PSNI last night rejected Mr Brown’s remarks that his life was under threat from former colleagues.
“We reject absolutely any allegation that a member of the PSNI would seek to harm Mr Brown. Where we receive information to suggest that someone’s personal security is at risk, we take steps to inform that person.
“We never ignore anything that would put someone’s life in danger. Should anyone have a complaint, they should make contact with the office of the Police Ombudsman,” said the PSNI.

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