ANALYSIS : Allison Morris – The Irish News
THE damning report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) into the Historical Enquires Team (HET) will surely spell the end of what was always a flawed and questionable mechanism for dealing with the past.
Reinvestigating unsolved murders originally gave hope to families deprived of justice, some for almost four decades. However, the structure of reporting directly to the chief constable of the PSNI and employing former members of the RUC raised questions about the independance of the investigative body. Loyalists claimed the HET was biased against them, putting more resources into investigating murders carried out by paramilitiries from the UVF and UDA than it did into those carried out by republicaians. This claim was denied by the HET who said they were working chronologically with all the evidence and information availabile to them.
But the HMIC probe into working practices did show a bias, albeit one said to be a result of “misinterpretion of the law ” with no real effort by HET detectives into investigating state killings. Since being set up eight years ago not one of the cases recommened for further investigation and possible conviction relates to a killing by the British army. Justice minister David Ford has said that work is now required to “improve the effectiveness of the HET” but public confidence in the organisation is now damaged to a degree that no amount of work restructuring is likely to meet the demands of victims. What is clear is that we are no closer to finding an acceptable mechasim to deal with the past and give the families of all victims – wheither their loved ones died at the hands of republicans, loyalists or state – real closure.
With many thanks to : The Irish News.
- Policing Board: We Have No Longer Any Confidence in Het (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Board to Discuss Report on Het (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Victims’ Families: ‘Scrap Het’ !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- The HET report (eurofree3.wordpress.com)
- Board to discuss report on HET (bbc.co.uk)
- Board has ‘no confidence’ in HET (bbc.co.uk)
- Army killings to be re-examined after Troubles murder probe criticised (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Troubles murders probe criticised (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- HET leadership slammed by Policing Board (newsletter.co.uk)