“This was explained to the Tribunal in Public Interest Immunity Certificates signed by Ministers”

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, has made a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament setting out the process which will lead to the publication of the report by the “pointless” Saville Inquiry. Which may be before, or after, the General Election… From the Written Ministerial Statement.

I want to publish the report in its entirety. Should any concerns about the safety of any individual arise, my first course of action would be to consider whether these can be addressed through alternative means. Were I to reach the conclusion, on advice, that a redaction to the text might be necessary, I would consult Lord Saville. In the very unlikely event that any redaction were deemed necessary, my intention would be to make this clear on the face of the report.

Once the checking process is complete, a publication date can be set and the report can be printed. The report will be published for this House, in response to an Order for a Return which I will invite the House to make. It is, of course, possible that a General Election might be called in the meantime. Lord Saville has informed me that if it becomes clear that it will not be possible for the report to be published in advance of the dissolution of Parliament, the Tribunal will agree to retain custody of the report until after the General Election.

Adds As Liam Clarke has pointed out, some have few grounds to complain about concerns of “putting the lives or safety of individuals at risk”.

As for imposing codes of silence, we only have to look at McGuinness’s refusal to answer crucial questions put to him at the Bloody Sunday inquiry, citing “a republican code of honour”. “There have been many occasions in the past when people who betrayed republicanism went over to the British and were executed by the IRA,” he explained under cross-examination.