[Sinn Fein]

7th March 2002

Maskey - Finucane case

Commenting on a offer by British government to the Finucane family of 10,000 to settle their legal action against them. Sinn Fein Chief Whip Alex Maskey said:

" This case and the centrality to it of the Special Branch and Special Branch Agents is at the heart of what continues to be wrong with policing. Patten required that human rights abusers be dealt with and was categoric in making accountability the primary function of the Policing Board. Neither of these key requirements have been met.

" The Policing Board now has responsibility for the RUC human rights abusers they have inherited but no control or accountability over them. They have inherited the Special Branch members involved in collusion, shoot to kill and cover-ups. They have inherited the Special Branch Agents who are also members of the loyalist death squads. Common sense and the interests of peace require that they be dealt with. This is not happening.

" The Policing Board does not have the powers to do this. The British government has refused to give them the power to perform their primary function, Todays news that they are attempting to prevent the Finucane case reaching the European Court confirms what many believe that the cover-ups and the attempted cover-ups are still going on, and will continue to go on until we have democratic accountability at the centre of policing here,"

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