Judge to be given Finucane documents

Friday 26 April 2013 16.33
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Pat Finucane was shot dead in February 1989
Pat Finucane was shot dead in February 1989
Geraldine Finucane has asked for full access to British government cabinet minutes
Geraldine Finucane has asked for full access to British government cabinet minutes

Sensitive British government documents are to be given to a High Court judge next week for a decision on whether they should be disclosed to the family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Due to security issues, some of the material will have to be returned to the British government as soon as the judge has read it.

Mr Finucane was shot dead by loyalists in front of his wife and children in February 1989.

His widow, Geraldine, wants full access to the minutes from British government cabinet meetings, and correspondence between Downing Street officials and MI5 and others, as part of her legal challenge to David Cameron's refusal to order a public inquiry into her husband’s murder.

The judge ruled that she had established a case for disclosure but said he wanted to examine the sensitive documents before deciding if they should be given to her legal team.

A lawyer for the British government suggested the handover of the documents next week could take place in the judge's chambers in Belfast.

But Mr Justice Stephens insisted he should be given the material in the courtroom.

The British government's lawyer said some of the documents were at a level that they would have to be taken away when the judge had read them.