13th May 2014
THE decision by the RUC/PSNI not to fully investigate shootings carried out by the secret plainclothes British army unit, the Military Reaction Force, is a ‘travesty of justice’ according to the PFC.
Following a BBC Panorama programme broadcast in 2013 the Director of Public Prosecutions asked the RUC/PSNI to investigate the activities of this undercover squad, one of whom, Clive Williams, is now living under an assumed name in Australia.
RUC/PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris has now written to the Prosecution Service to claim that the,
“RUC/PSNI is of the view that none of the men featured have admitted to any criminal act or to have been involved in any of the incidents portrayed in this programme.”
Padraig O’Murigh, solicitor for the families of the two men (that is known) murdered by the MRF, Daniel Rooney and Patrick Mc Veispin watch.red below, told Radio Foyle that he was ‘not surprised’ and that it appeared that the RUC/PSNI had not even bothered to interveiw the undercover former British army soldiers featured in the programme.
The PFC and Justice for the Forgotten supplied declassed documents from Kew to the Panorama team and last year published a report on undercover units including the MRF availabe at: http://www.spinwatch.org/images/Countergangs1971-76.pdf – We also have been in contact with the solicitor for the families and are supporting their efforts to alert Australian authorities to the implications of the Panorama programme for Clive Williams.
The RUC/PSNI decision reinforces our long held view that the RUC/PSNI cannot under any circumstances be trusted to carry out impartial, independent investigations into so-called ‘legacy or historic’ cases. The RUC/PSNI is institutionally incapable of investigating killings and shootings carried out by an army unit that was operating in support of the RUC and whose activities in the early seventies were covered up by the criminal justice system at all levels including the police. Any rigorous RUC/PSNI investigation would raise serious questions about the origional RUC investigation.
There are declassified documents which show extensive correspondence between the then DPP and the Attorney General following the ‘misaken’ arrest of a MRF unit which had just carried out a random gun attack on civilians. We would therefore urge PPS Director Barra Mc Grory to demand access to all the files held by the prosecution service on the MRF since it is clear that the RUC/PSNI is unlikely to open its files on the matter.
The Haass recommendation that an independent investigative unit should be created led by a figure with no links to the RUC/PSNI is the only way to resolve these issues. RUC/PSNI involvement in this ongoing cover-up is doing huge damage to the public confidence in current policing.
Contact Paul O’Connor 02871 268846 or Margaret Urwin 003531 8554300 (author of Counter-Gangs: a history of undercover military units in Northern Ireland 1971-1976)
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