[Sinn Fein]

23rd March 1999

Independent International Inquiry Now

Statement from Sinn Fein Assembly member for Upper Bann Dr. Dara O'Hagan calling for an independent international inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson.

Dr. O'Hagan said:

``Given the serious allegations that Rosemary had been subjected to death threats from members of the RUC it is totally inappropriate that her murder should now be investigated by members of the same force. The Independent Commission for Police Complaints were so dissatisfied by the RUC's handling of the investigation into death threats against Rosemary Nelson that it was passed onto the London Metropolitan Police. How then can it be satisfactory that the RUC now be allowed to handle the investigation into her murder ?

``An investigation overseen by David Phillips, Chief Constable of Kent, and involving the FBI is still being conducted by members of the RUC. This is simply not acceptable and is an attempt by Ronnie Flanagan to prevent an independent international inquiry into the murder of Rosemary Nelson.

``The involvement of David Phillips is also a matter of concern. Mr. Phillips was the Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester at the time John Stalker was pilloried by that force when he attempted to get to the truth of `shoot to kill' allegations against the RUC.

``More recently, the MacPherson report into the Stephen Lawrence inquiry was critical of the investigation carried out by the Kent Constabulary into the London Metropolitan Police handling of the Stephen Lawrence murder. The Kent Report `found no evidence to support the allegation of racist conduct by any Metropolitan Police Officer. A conclusion which the MacPherson report `disagreed roundly'.

``Nothing short of an independent international inquiry into the murder of Rosemary Nelson will alleviate the fears and concerns of everyone interested in justice and human rights.''

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