Amnesty wants independent Finucane probe

Thursday 12 February 2009 10.27
Pat Finucane - Killed 20 years ago
Pat Finucane - Killed 20 years ago

Human rights group Amnesty International has launched a campaign to press the British government for a fully independent inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Today is the 20th anniversary of one of the most controversial killings of the Troubles.

The 39-year-old was shot dead by loyalists in front of his family at their north Belfast home on 12 February 1989.

The British Government has offered a public inquiry into the case, but insisted it take place under new legislation.

Amnesty's UK Director Kate Allen has criticised plans to hold a public inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005.

Last year the act was criticised by the UN Human Rights Committee for allowing ‘the Government minister who established an inquiry to control important aspects of that inquiry’.

The Finucane family has refused to accept the inquiry offered by Downing Street and demanded a probe free of British government control.

This 20th anniversary of Mr Finucane's death will be marked by a major conference at Trinity College Dublin this weekend.

Mr Finucane's widow Geraldine, who was wounded in the same attack, will address the event, as will former UN investigator Param Cumaraswamy and Canadian judge Peter Cory, who each investigated the solicitor's murder.