‘YET another British government has engineered the repression of the truth behind the murder of my husband Pat Finucane.’
This was the response of Geraldine Finucane to yesterday’s report into her husband’s murder by British state agents.
The report admitted that state agents murdered and killed in the north, but insisted that the British government did not give the orders to kill.
The report found ‘shocking’ levels of state collusion and that state employees actively furthered and facilitated the murder of Pat Finucane, who was shot by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989.
Sir Desmond de Silva’s report concluded that they and state agents played ‘key roles’ in the shooting, which happened as the solicitor was eating dinner with his family.
‘It cannot be argued that these were rogue agents,’ David Cameron said in a statement to the House of Commons.
He said that the Army and Special Branch had advance notice of a series of planned assassinations by loyalists but nothing was done.
There was also a ‘relentless’ effort to cover up after the killing as Army officials gave the Ministry of Defence misleading and inaccurate information.
Cameron rejected calls for a public inquiry last year but commissioned a new review, conducted in private, of all the evidence by QC Desmond de Silva.
The report claimed that no-one in government had been aware of the murder plot or later cover-up.
The Finucane family held a press conference later, with Geraldine Finucane reading out a statement.
She said: ‘Last year we went to meet prime minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street. We were invited to hear proposals on an inquiry into the murder of my husband Pat.
‘However, at that meeting we were told that a review of the papers would take place instead of the promised inquiry.
‘I left Downing Street that day so angry I could hardly speak. It was clear my family had been brought there under false pretences. We were misled and humiliated in a cruel and unnecessary fashion.
‘Today we have come to London under very different circumstance. we know why we are here and we have known for some time. We are here to read a report compiled by a lawyer with strong links to the Conservative Party, who was appointed by the Conservative government without consultation.
‘The report is the result of a process into which we have had no input, we have seen no documents, nor heard any witnesses.
‘In short, we have had no chance to assess the evidence for ourselves first hand.
‘We are expected to take the word of the man appointed by the British government. . . .
‘Yet another British government has engineered the repression of the truth behind the murder of my husband Pat Finucane.
‘At every turn it is clear that this report has done exactly what was required – to give the benefit of the doubt to the state, its cabinet and ministers, to the army, to the intelligence services, to itself.
‘At every turn dead witnesses have been blamed and defunct agencies found wanting – serving personnel and active state departments appear to have been excused.
‘The dirt has been swept under the carpet without any serious attempt to lift the lid on what really happened to Pat and so many others.
‘This report is a sham. This report is a whitewash. This report is a confidence trick dressed up as independent scrutiny and given invisible clothes of reliability.
‘But most of all, most hurtful and insulting of all, this report is not the truth.’