Monday, January 29, 2007

Collusion officer gets PSNI promotion

Colm Heatley:

At least one of the four serving policemen implicated in the Police Ombudsman’s report into collusion between the RUC and loyalists has been promoted within the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The four were described as junior officers on the ‘‘periphery’’ of the investigation, by Ombudsman sources. The Ombudsman’s report found evidence of collusion between RUC members and a north Belfast UVF unit, run by Special Branch informer Mark Haddock, in at least five murders between 1990 and 2003.

Raymond McCord Sr, whose son’s murder sparked the four-year inquiry, said he was ‘‘disturbed’’ by the development.

‘‘I don’t think any officer who was implicated in this inquiry should be serving in the PSNI,” said McCord. ‘‘If they are implicated in wrongdoing, then they have no place in policing, especially if people’s trust is to be restored.”

Senior sources told The Sunday Business Post that arrests are expected in the coming days in relation to the ombudsman’s report, and specifically the 1997 murder of Raymond McCord Jr. However, it is understood that no former RUC officers will be arrested.

The four year-long investigation was made public in Belfast last Monday, causing huge embarrassment for the British government and the PSNI.

In a separate development, sources within the Ombudsman say that their request for a further stg£1.25 million in funding - needed because of the complexity of their investigation - means that future inquiries may be under-funded.

The report has prompted calls for Ronnie Flanagan to resign from his post as chief of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies.

Flanagan was head of RUC Special Branch in 1996 and RUC Chief Constable until 2002. He was made aware of the concerns about the running of agents in north Belfast, but it is claimed he took no action to remedy the situation.

How collusion was built into the system

The victims deserve justice

Turning a blind eye

MP: Flanagan’s position untenable

The hidden role of the SAS

State terrorism was used to uphold the Union


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