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Council of Europe to ‘supervise’ Finucane case
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12 Mar 2021 / human rights Print

Council of Europe to ‘supervise’ Finucane case

The family of solicitor Pat Finucane, who was murdered in Belfast in 1989, has welcomed a decision by the Council of Europe to reopen its examination of his case.

The body’s Committee of Ministers said the move was being made “in order to supervise the ongoing measures to ensure that they are adequate, sufficient and proceed in a timely manner”.

They also called on the UK authorities to clarify how the ongoing police and Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (OPONI) processes would proceed promptly, and in line with standards set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

'Delay and obfuscation'

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said last year that the UK government had decided not to hold a public inquiry into the case.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the failure of the UK government to hold a prompt and effective investigation into the solicitor’s death was a breach of article 2 of the ECHR.

Pat Finucane’s widow, Geraldine, said the UK government had adopted a policy of “delay and obfuscation” and the Council of Europe’s ministers had run out of patience.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney also welcomed the Council of Europe decision.

The Council of Europe statement also expressed “profound concern” about delays in investigating a number of other cases linked to deaths in Northern Ireland during the 1980s and 1990s.

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