The findings of a review into the 1989 murder of Belfast human rights solicitor, Pat Finucane has been made public. The findings, whilst not exactly a surprise, are nevertheless shocking, and lay naked the lengths the British state will go to in order to silence people who get in its way.
Finucane was executed by loyalist gunmen in-front of his wife and children. The report concludes that the RUC ‘proposed’ that Finucane be murdered, and passed information onto his killers, failed to prevent the attack from taking place, and then deliberately sabotaged the subsequent murder investigation. The report also found that the army intelligence unit, the FRU “bears a degree of responsibility”, as their agents were involved in ‘selecting targets’.
As would have been expected, the current chief constable of the Northern Ireland police force has issued an ‘unconditional and absolute’ apology. His faux concern has been mirrored by that of David Cameron, who in a statement to parliament, apologised to the family on behalf of the country.
The key areas of state collusion highlighted in the report are as follows:
• There were extensive ‘leaks of police information to loyalist paramilitary organisations.
• MI5 new of the threats against Finucane’s life but failed to protect him.
• Employees of state organisations played a key role in the murder of Pat Finucane.
• There was a failure to properly investigate the murder, and a failure to arrest and interview key loyalist paramilitaries.
• Senior army Officers deliberately lied during investigations.
• The Royal Ulster Constabulary seriously obstructed the investigation.
• 85% of loyalist paramilitaries ‘intelligence’ originated from the British security forces.
Despite such damning findings, Sir Desmond De Silva, who led the review, has said that he believed that there was “no overarching state conspiracy”, but would be discussing the report with the police ombudsman in the coming weeks. Despite Pat Finucane’s family demanding a full public enquiry, David Cameron has ruled it out.
Pat Finucane’s widow, ‘Geraldine’, declined to take part in the review, dismissing it as a ‘whitewash’ and a ‘sham’. She believes that the government have “engineered a suppression of the truth” that covered up her husband’s brutal execution. She went on to say that,:
“At every turn, it is clear that this report has done exactly what was required. To give the benefit of the doubt to the state, its cabinet and ministers, to the army, the intelligence services, to itself. At every turn, dead witnesses have been blamed, and defunct agencies found wanting. Serving personnel and active state departments appear to have been excused. The dirt has been swept under the carpet without any serious attempt to lift the lid on what really happened to Pat and so many others”.
Following his apology, David Cameron stressed that despite the clear evidence of ‘state collusion’ in Mr Finucane’s murder, no government minister had any knowledge or involvement.
Few will believe Cameron’s claims - this is just the latest example of Thatcherite era state corruption, which can be added to the list that includes the Hillsborough cover-up, the Orgreave fit-up, MI5 and Stella Rimmington’s dirty tricks campaign against Arthur Scargill, and the brutality and lies of the police force during the 1980’s.