[Sinn Fein]

18th February 2003

British must come clean on Collusion

Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness along with party President Gerry Adams MP will meet with a US Congressional delegation tomorrow afternoon. Among the items they will raise with the delegation is the ongoing demand for an international public judicial inquiry into British collusion with loyalist death squads. 

Speaking today Mr. McGuinness said:

``In light of the Stevens recommendation that senior British Military Agents and senior RUC Special Branch Officers be prosecuted for their role in the murder of citizens through collusion and ongoing revelations about the role of Brian Nelson, Sinn Fein will reiterate our view to the Congressional delegation that the only way to achieve justice in this matter is through an international public judicial inquiry.

``Collusion between the British and the loyalist death squads spanned all of their organisations - the RUC, the UDR/RIR, MI5, UDA, UVF, Ulster Resistance and others. And the British Army, through FRU, actually directed these organisations and was directly involved in the murder of citizens.

``In the case of Pat Finucane, the UFF were the flag of convenience for the British State. Tommy Lyttle the head of the UDA in West Belfast was an RUC Special Branch Agent. William Stobie, who supplied the weapons, was an RUC Special Branch Agent. Ken Barrett, the self confessed gunman, was an RUC Special Branch Agent and Brian Nelson who set the operation up was working for the FRU.

``At Brian Nelson's trial 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.'

``Sinn Fein fully supports the families of victims who are calling for international public judicial inquiries into the deaths of their loved ones.

``We have consistently raised these matters with both the British and Irish governments.

``Sinn Fein presented Tony Blair with a document on collusion and the role of Brian Nelson over five years ago. I am sure he has also read the various reports produced by Stalker, Samson 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 outworkings of a structured strategy by the British government and its agencies.

``In other words Pat Finucane and many other citizens were killed as a matter of British policy.

``In any other country in Europe a government involved in targeting and killing citizens through their agents would be brought down. In this case the British government is still actively resisting the demands of the families of those killed, for the truth.''

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