[Sinn Fein]

6th December 2001

British must come clean on Nelson role

Speaking at a Press Conference in Belfast Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, with party colleagues Alex Maskey MLA and Gerry Kelly MLA, demanded an International Public Judicial Inquiry into British collusion with loyalist death squads.

Mr. Adams said:

``In light of the recent collapse of the Stobie case and further revelations about the role of Brian Nelson Sinn Fein reiterates our support for the demand for an International Public Judicial Inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and other related cases will not go away.

``William Stobie was an RUC Special Branch Agent, Brian Nelson was a British Army agent, both were active members of the UDA and have admitted to involvement in a series of murders. In Brian Nelson's case Colonel `J' the head of  FRU gave evidence in his support and the British Defence Secretary and former Secretary of State Tom King submitted a mitigation plea to the Nelson trial in 1992 on behalf of Nelson who he described as a `valuable agent'.

``Collusion between the British and the loyalist death squads spanned all of their organisations - the RUC, the UDR/RIR, MI5, the UDA, UVF, Ulster Resistance and others and of course the British Army through FRU.

``Sinn Fein fully supports the families of victims who are calling for International Public Judicial Inquiries into the deaths of their loved ones.

``This week, I once again raised these matters with An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and with the British Secretary of State John Reid. Since then I have written to the Taoiseach and to Mr. Blair urging them to establish a fully Independent Public Judicial Inquiry.

``During the Weston Park talks our party made clear our opposition to the proposal of the two government's to appoint an international judge to investigate allegations of collusion in a number of specified cases. In fact Sinn Fein refused to make these high profile cases a matter for bargaining in negotiations on policing. We viewed the proposal to appoint a judge as a cynical attempt to long finger the demand for an Independent Public Judicial Inquiry.

``Sinn Fein presented Tony Blair with this document four years ago. I am sure he has also read the various reports produced by Stalker, Sampson and Stevens. So he and his colleagues are aware of these matters. They are also no doubt aware that this is not a case of a few bad apples. This is an example of the out-workings of a structured strategy by the British government and its agencies.

``In other words Pat Finucane was killed as a matter of British policy.

``Apart from the many other issues involved there is an onus on the present British government to persuade public opinion that this policy and strategy is not being pursued at this time, if this is in fact the case.''

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