British investigation not up to Canadian standards

Peter Cory, the Canadian judge who recommended a judicial inquiry into the 1989 murder of lawyer Pat Finucane has criticised British plans to restrict the information the probe can make public.

Cory, a retired member of the Canadian Supreme Court, said legislation proposed by Britain to allow much of the probe into the death of Pat Finucane to be held in private and restrict evidence would make a meaningful inquiry impossible.

“It really creates an impossible Alice in Wonderland situation,” said the judge in a letter to U.S. legislator Chris Smith, who is chairing an ad hoc Congressional committee looking at human rights in Northern Ireland.

“If the new act were to become law, I would advise all Canadian judges to decline an appointment in light of the impossible situation they would be facing,” continued Cory’s letter.

“In fact, I cannot contemplate any self-respecting Canadian judge accepting an appointment to an inquiry constituted under the proposed new act.”

An investigation by former London police chief John Stevens concluded there was security force collusion in the murder of Finucane.

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