A Derry human rights group says the police must reveal which cases it is re-examining as part of a “review” of Troubles era military killings.
The Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) says the PSNI’s “ongoing refusal” to confirm which cases are being reviewed is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Last month, PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott told Stormont’s justice committee he wanted to see if any evidential opportunities had been missed when British soldiers had been interviewed under caution.
The review follows a critical report into the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).
However, the PFC says the police decision to not release details of which cases are under review is “causing great distress and hurt” among many families.
PFC caseworker Sara Duddy said: “We have asked several times for confirmation of those cases being reviewed, yet the
PSNI still refuse to name them, even privately to families. This has caused great hurt and distress to families. They don’t know if their case is being subjected to a process they don’t trust and don’t want.
“These investigations must be effective, independent, be open to public scrutiny and involve the family. This is a minimum requirement. A PSNI review or investigation cannot meet this obligation... We believe that the Chief Constable is aware that a PSNI investigation or review will never be acceptable to families and he is unwilling to confirm the 13 cases because those families will immediate launch a legal action to stop PSNI involvement.”
The family of Billy McGreanery, who was shot dead by a British soldier in Derry in 1971, says it wants to know if his case is subject to a PSNI review.
Billy’s nephew, Billy McGreanery, said: “We are not sure if this involves our uncle’s case or not. Many families are
in the same boat. It’s completely unacceptable.”
At the time of going to press last night, the PSNI had not responded to the PFC claims.