16 November 2006

Team to probe police collusion

Irish Independent

Senan Molony
15 November 2006

NEW investigations into killings in which Northern security forces are suspected of collusion were promised yesterday.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is to establish a "white team", based in London and comprised of outside detectives and investigators, to examine such incidents throughout 30 years of the Troubles.

The announcement was made yesterday as PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde told members of the Dail justice committee: "I understand collusion."

But he said that he did not believe collusion in killings was endemic. "The vast majority of victims were not murdered by the State, but by loyalists and republican paramilitaries.

"Organisations on both sides became very good killing machines. Many would say they did not need help."

The so-called white team to investigate cases of collusion is to grow out of the recently-formed Historic Enquiries Team within the PSNI, which is reviewing cold cases from the start of the modern troubles.

HET director David Cox said the white team - distinct from the PSNI's purple and red teams involved in the review programme - would be made up of external officers, with files and material transferred to London for scrutiny.

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