Sinn Féin West Belfast MP, Paul Maskey after having sight of the de Silva Report into the murder of Belfast Solicitor Pat Finucane said that its conclusions only serve to reinforce the need for a full Independent Public Inquiry.
Paul Maskey said:
“We fully support the demand by Geraldine Finucane, Pat’s widow and her family for a full Independent Public Inquiry into Pat’s murder.
“The revelations in the de Silva Report released today only serve to reinforce that position.”
Referring to the Force Research Unit (FRU), which was set up within the British Army Intelligence Corps in 1982, Maskey says:
“We were all aware that there was collusion in Pat’s murder as borne out by the fact, confirmed in the de Silva Report, that FRU recruited Nelson as an agent at a time when he was working in Germany and encouraged him to return to Belfast and join the UDA – this was deliberate proactive collusion.
“Nelson contrary to what is portrayed by vested interests was no maverick but an integral part of the FRU infrastructure as evidenced by the fact that he regularly updated and briefed his handlers on his activities.
“In 1988 British security services received information that three solicitors were to be killed and failed to act. The Report finds that the British army bears a degree of responsibility for Nelson’s activity between 1983 and 89 and that, Ken Barrett (eventually convicted of Pat’s murder) could have been arrested at the time but was instead recruited as an agent.
“Successive British governments according to the Report failed to produce proper guidelines on the operation of agents resulting in information from RUC and UDR being given to loyalists and this was widespread.
“At least two agents were involved in Pat’s murder but yet there was no warning from RUC to Pat that his life was under threat.
“The UDR gun which was stolen in 1987 was also used in the murder of Gerard Slane and Terrence McDaid and even though the RUC had this information no one was arrested.
“The British Army lied to investigators and the RUC withheld information from the DPP while MOD supplied misleading information to Secretary of State. While the Report claims that no government Minister had fore-knowledge of Pat’s murder they failed in their responsibility through failure to have proper procedures in place.
“De Silva himself expressed doubt that Pat would have been murdered had it not been for elements of the state. Through wilful neglect, lies and lack of procedure West Belfast UDA were allowed to operate unhindered.
“Nelson’s handlers were aware of his visits to South Africa to meet arms dealers. Within six months of being recruited Nelson made a significant impact in increasing the UDA’s targeting capacity. FRU had full knowledge but failed to act.
`It was also found that the RUC must bear a substantial responsibility for the failure to protect the vast majority of UDA targets identified by Nelson. De Silva concluded that it is also likely that an RUC officer or officers in Castlereagh did propose that Pat Finucane be a target.