The Police Ombudsman’s report on the investigation of the murder of Raymond McCord has yet to be made public, but while he continues to receive death threats from the UVF – threats the UUP’s Reg Empey has called on the UVF leadership to lift – Raymond McCord Snr and his solicitor have told the Observer’s Henry McDonald that they believe the report will state that the then-Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, intervened to secure the release of a key suspect.. at the request of the UVF and their political wing, the PUP. If true it has echoes in the handling of the arrest and release of Sean Kelly by current Secretary of State, Peter Hain, as well as the ongoing relationships between the good UDA, the NIO and the Irish Government.From The Observer report
McCord and his solicitor, Paul Farrell, claim the Ombudsman will back up accounts they heard from disgruntled CID officers that at the beginning of 1998 Mowlam intervened directly in the case, ordering the release from prison of a key suspect initially arrested over the McCord murder.
At the time the UVF and its political wing, the Progressive Unionist Party, were engaged in all-party peace talks leading up to the Good Friday agreement and the UVF wanted the arrested man involved, so asked Mowlam to secure his release. According to McCord and Farrell, one of the Mowlam’s senior officials telephoned Gough police barracks in Armagh and ordered CID officers to free the murder suspect. Sources close to O’Loan’s investigation confirmed that Mowlam intervened to secure the loyalist suspect’s freedom.
The Observer report notes that
O’Loan has declined to comment, but her office confirmed that an interim report on the McCord murder investigation has been sent to Sir Alastair Frazer, the DPP for Northern Ireland.