McClean redefines collusion as Sins of Commission…

There was a reason Judge Cory didn’t think any of the six cases that he initially looked into would get a decent hearing. If I recall correctly it was bound up with the Enquiries Act of 2005. So it should come as little surprise that are reassured by the outcome of the Billy Wright Inquiry…

There’s a few details worth picking up in the next few days in more detail, but let’s start with the one Mark Devenport has picked up straight away, which is the tightening of the definition of collusion:

One general point which wil have significance for the Nelson and Hamill inquiries later this year is the narrower definition of collusion adopted by the Maclean probe. They have opted for deliberate agreement to commit unlawful acts (i.e a sin of commission) rather than turning a blind eye or deliberately ignoring something (more a sin of ommission). this makes the Maclean definition more restricted than the wide one adopted by Judge Peter Cory and, apparently, the Police Ombudsman and Lord Stevens.

The question now is whether the Nelson and Hamill inquiries will follow the Cory or the Maclean definition of collusion. And if they don’t, shouldn’t this baseline have been agreed when all the collusion inquiries were first instigated?

Indeed. Cory would not have recognised it, and nor would Nuala O’Loan. We await the next tragic episode…

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  • Comrade Stalin

    I better get out of the way before we hear the deafening sound of an avalanche of Unionist politicians, led by Gregory Campbell, yelling about the injustice of a vastly expensive enquiry into someone who was “probably” a terrorist anyway.

  • tacapall

    ” They have opted for deliberate agreement to commit unlawful acts (i.e a sin of commission) rather than turning a blind eye or deliberately ignoring something (more a sin of ommission). this makes the Maclean definition more restricted than the wide one adopted by Judge Peter Cory and, apparently, the Police Ombudsman and Lord Stevens”.

    Otherwise known as human error and failings in this case. How can Ian Og Paisley etc scream cover up, whitewash etc when they themselves have committed “a sin of ommission” when they turned a blind eye to the events surrounding the torture over a number of hours then murder of a loyalist prisoner on the same block and wing H6 during the same period, (David Keyes) this time by loyalists. What happened to the cameras, the screws not being around etc. So was this also collusion.

    The Screws were so demoralized with the whole peace process, being the old fashioned Unionists that they are, Im sure Finlay Spratt could verify all Im saying here, that they themselves didn’t give a fk anymore and turned a blind eye to a lot of things. How else could certain loyalists smuggle in numerous items including a puppy, have all night drug fulled raves etc. How else could republicans dig a tunnel and leave all the rubble in cells for weeks or one walk out dressed as a woman. Cover up, yeah right.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Look,if the British State says there was no collusion..there was no collusion !!

    I hope out nat/rep chums remember that,in the weeks and months to come !!! 🙂

  • Hedley Lamarr

    It is hard to see how an act of omission is necessarily not collusion unless there has been some collaboration between the parties.

    If the police/authorities knew of a killing that was about to take place but the killers didn’t know this intelligence existed and the police/authorities could stop the killing and didn’t because they wanted it to happen surely this is collusion? The police/authorities collude to make the killing happen. There may be no collaboration or conspiracy between the killers and the authorities but there is collusion.

    I realise a synonym of collusion, in this case ‘connive’ as a verb doesn’t necessarily mean exactly the same as the verb to ‘collude’ but it is noticeable that this particular part of the definition has been discarded. A poorly explained “omission” on the part of the Inquiry.

    I realise that there was negligence and no knowledge in the Billy Wright case, no conniving, no collusion, no collaboration, no conspiracy, no mutual plot or scheme so the definition as amended makes no difference in this case. But it creates a damaging precedent.

  • Granni Trixie

    ‘Turning a blind eye’, ‘sins of omission’ – There seems to be evidence of each in the Wright case.
    What is the rationale for not including them in the definition of collusion,it flies in the face of commonsense,fair play,justice.

    What actually was the millions spent on?

  • joan

    between the brits fiddling the rules and sinn fein finding refuge in selective/faulty memory syndrome, the efforts to establish some sort of truth-telling mechanism are laughable. but watch the brits and the chucks together try it though! their efforts must be resisted. better nothing happens than a staged farce.

  • Christy Walsh

    Agreed, the mind boggles? Also, ‘negligence’ or ‘no knowledge’ are one thing –an ‘ommission’ to act implies foreknowledge but a failure to act appropriately. It matters not if it was a pre-agreed omission, or the curtly nod and a wink kind.

  • mark

    Wreckless endangerment , collusion , call it what you want !

  • DC

    There should have been an inquiry into his life.

  • tacapall

    A big difference between having foreknowledge about a crime about to happen and not acting on it, or having knowledge about it later but not acting on it as the law requires ( Like Priests in confession) than activly encouraging and facilatating in the crime (RUC Special Branch) then also covering up for the perpatrators later the Mount Vernon UVF.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    they smuggled in a puppy???
    my favourite story is that they swapped a budgie for a pigeon….with republicans in the “cage” next door. Seemingly they hadnt worked out that the pigeon would fly back to the republicans.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ultimately it doesnt really matter.
    While there is apparently no hierarchy of victims families…..I do believe there is a hierarchy of “victim”.
    To my mind, Michael McGoldrick is a more genuine victim than Billy Wright.
    Those calling for very expensive enquiries and Truth Commissions should maybe be aware that Mrs McGoldricks mother favours drawing a line under everything.
    Thats good enough for me.

  • tacapall

    Maybe thats good enough for you but you dont speak for everyone and I for one would like to know the truth about the credibility and integridy ( and that goes for everyone involved in the past conflict) of those who are control our lives and futures.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Mick, do you journos ever bother to read the actual reports? Or do you simply parrot the misinformed? From the report:

    1.23 It is also of some significance that in April 2004 when publishing the Cory Report the SOSNI drew attention to the fact that Judge Cory’s definition of collusion was very wide. When he announced the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and the Panel members on 16 November 2004 the SOSNI said the Terms of Reference had been deliberately drawn to allow the Inquiry to consider both the allegations of collusion that had been made in this case and the issues of possible negligence.
    1.32 As stated above, the definition of collusion by Judge Cory was very wide. He defined collusion at paragraphs 3.182 to 3.189 of his Report as follows:

    ‘3.182 At the outset it is essential to state the definition of collusion that applies in assessing the actions of state authorities.
    3.187 In the narrower context how should collusion be defined for the purposes of the Billy Wright case? At the outset it should be recognised that members of the public must have confidence in the actions of Government agencies, including those of the prison services. There cannot be public confidence in a Government agency that is guilty of collusion or connivance in serious crimes. Because of the necessity for public confidence in Government agencies the definition of collusion must be reasonably broad when it is applied to their actions. This is to say that prison services must not act collusively by ignoring or turning a blind eye to the wrongful acts of their officers or of their servants or agents. Nor can the prison services act collusively by supplying information to assist those committing wrongful acts or by encouraging them to commit wrongful acts. Nor can any Governmental agency act collusively by failing to supply to prisons services reasonably reliable information they have received which indicates that a dangerous situation has, or is likely to arise within a prison. Any lesser definition would have the effect of condoning, or even encouraging, state involvement in crimes, thereby shattering all public confidence in important Government agencies.

    3.188 This case will turn primarily on the response to these questions. First, and most importantly, did the Northern Ireland Prison Service turn a blind eye to the very dangerous situation they knew or ought to have known would arise from billeting the INLA and LVF prisoners in the same H Block in the Maze? Similarly, did another Governmental agency fail to advise or supply to the Prison Service information they had received and considered reasonably reliable which indicated that a dangerous situation had arisen or was arising in the prison?

    3.189 In determining whether there are indications of state collusion in the murder of Billy Wright, it is important to look at the issue from two perspectives. First, it must be seen whether the documents indicate that the action or inaction of the prison authorities might have directly contributed to the killing of Billy Wright or hindered the investigation of his murder or perverted the course of justice. In addition it is necessary to examine collusive acts which may have indirectly contributed to his killing by INLA prisoners on 27 December 1997 or frustrated the investigation of his death. In this regard it is necessary to examine collusive acts which may have indirectly contributed to the killing by generally facilitating or encouraging or turning a blind eye to the actions or behaviour of the INLA prisoners. That is, the evidence may reveal a pattern of behaviour by a Government agency that comes within the definition of collusion. This evidence may add to and form part of the cumulative effect which emerges from a reading of the documents. Both perspectives will be considered in determining whether the evidence indicates that there have been acts of collusion.’

    1.33 It may be that the very wide definition of the word collusion that Judge Cory adopted was due to his concentration on one of the synonyms, namely the verb connive. We have been concerned throughout the Inquiry by the width of the meaning applied by Judge Cory, having in mind in particular that the word is not to be found in our Terms of Reference. For our part we consider that the essence of collusion is an agreement or arrangement between individuals or organisations, including government departments, to achieve an unlawful or improper purpose. The purpose may also be fraudulent or underhand. It seems to us that the situations envisaged by Judge Cory in paragraphs 3.187 to 3.189 of his Report, especially those in which he refers to prison services or the NIPS ‘turning a blind eye’, would amply be covered by the Terms of Reference without attempting to analyse them in terms of collusion. WE HAVE IN MIND HERE ‘WRONGFUL ACTS OR OMISSIONS’, INCLUDING ATTEMPTS, WHICH ‘FACILITATED HIS [BILLY WRIGHT’S] DEATH’, WHETHER INTENTIONAL OR NEGLIGENT.

    Let me interrupt. Do you know what it means if the state “turned a blind eye”? INTENTIONAL and NOT NEGLIGENT. And the intentional would be collusion in the Cory sense. Now to continue:

    1.34 We have considered carefully the submissions made with reference to collusion by Counsel for Mr David Wright and the family. They adopt wholesale Judge Cory’s definition of collusion. However, we must have primary regard to our Terms of Reference and, for the reasons expressed in the preceding paragraph, we consider that these Terms would amply cover the kinds of situations referred to in the Wright family’s submissions, without having to resort to the words ‘collusion’ or ‘collusive’.
    9.174 The sequence of events and considerations described above demonstrates how the NIPS were drawn to reach the decision that ‘the “least worst” option’, to use their inelegant phrase, for the allocation of Billy Wright in April 1997 was A wing in H Block 6 alongside the INLA prisoners. The Panel conclude that this decision was a wrongful act that directly facilitated the murder of Billy Wright on 27 December 1997 and that it did so by negligence rather than by intent. [my note, in other words, they didn’t intentionally set it up so that the arrangement facilitated the killing and so it wasn’t “collusion”].
    12.67 However, there were clear and well-articulated dangers in taking this option, particularly coming from the INLA. The authorities were well aware that two of the INLA prisoners in H6 had been able to smuggle guns into HMP Maghaberry five months previously and had been willing to use them. Having decided to return the LVF prisoners to H6 on 1 October 1997, the NIPS should first have carried out a full risk assessment of the implications of that decision. The decision should not have been implemented until additional physical security was installed both inside and outside the block to ensure that there could be no contact between the two factions and until procedural security features, including the distribution of staff, were reviewed and altered as required. The Panel conclude that failures in this regard were wrongful omissions by the NIPS which directly facilitated the death of Billy Wright and that these were the result of negligence rather than intention. [my note, again, was not an intentional omission but a negligent omission and so was not “collusion”]

    In other words, they just fucked up. They weren’t sitting there, saying, gee, let’s not do this so that the INLA can kill Billy Wright. So they didn’t collude. They’re just incompetent. Not that’s consoling, as it isn’t, but it presents a different and less dangerous problem than them wanting some dead.

    And here is a link to the report, and you’re going to have put on paid staff if I have to keep providing these things:

  • tacapall

    Yeah, probabily a birthday present for Johnny along with the gold bars hanging from his knuckles making himself all at home.

  • aquifer

    For police personnel failure to follow evidence is criminal behaviour, deliberately perverting the course of justice and turning their salary and pension into the proceeds of crime.

    But for the IRA and loyalist gun gangs consipiracy to murder was the rule, not the exception, so I have no time for cries of collusion from them.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “If the police/authorities knew of a killing that was about to take place but the killers didn’t know this intelligence existed and the police/authorities could stop the killing and didn’t because they wanted it to happen surely this is collusion? The police/authorities collude to make the killing happen. There may be no collaboration or conspiracy between the killers and the authorities but there is collusion.”

    No, it would most certainly not be collusion. Collusion:

    An agreement between two or more persons, to defraud a person of his rights by the forms of law, or to obtain an object forbidden by law; as, for example, where the husband and wife collude to obtain a divorce for a cause not authorized by law.

    An agreement between two or more people to defraud a person of his or her rights or to obtain something that is prohibited by law.

    You might also want to check up on the derivation of the word. Collude: from Latin collūdere, literally: to play together, hence, conspire together, from com- together + lūdere to play.

    Next, you all ever hear the line, a word means what I say that it means… From the Cory Report:

    3.183 The term collusion was defined for the purposes of the Inquiry into the murder of Patrick Finucane. For the purposes of the Hamill case, this definition was modified
    slightly to meet the unique circumstances of the case.

    3.184 The definition in this case will be essentially the same. However some slight modification is required in order to apply it to the particular circumstances of this

    Words of legal significance simply don’t have shifting definition. That would tend to deprive persons subject to the law of their right to due process of law.

    Lastly, from Saoirse32:

    During the interview for a forthcoming book on the INLA, Kennaway, who killed himself in a cell inside Maghaberry jail in June 2007, alleged that Maze prison authorities knew that he and McWilliams had already failed in an attempt to assassinate Wright at Maghaberry prison, but said there was no collusion with prison guards.

    The late Mr. Kennaway understood what one means by the word “collusion”.

    Almost forgot, but for more lunacy from the Cory Report, simply recall that Judge Cory said that the standing down of the guard was collusion if ordered. Oh how wrong he was:

    “When we cut out of the wing and got on to the roof we were actually depending on the screws to be around, to see us. We wanted them to be there to sound the alarm, which leads to the automatic lock-down of the gates. We got into the courtyard and Wright’s van was stuck there because the gates were automatically locked. If there had been no alarm the truth is that Wright might have got away and survived. The joke is that the screws thought we were trying to escape, that’s why they shut the gates. Had they not have seen us the gate would have been open and the van could have driven away when we pulled out the guns.”

    That is without doubt the cruelest of cruel ironies. Some stand accused of “turning a blind eye”. If only that had been literally true and no alarm had sounded…

    Almost forgot again, but recall the contents of the affidavit of UDR Sgt. Weir that I posted here on Slugger prior. John McConnell, UDR member, conspired with non-UDR members of the UVF to plant bombs in Dublin and Monaghan. That’s collusion.

    For yet one more, the problem with “connive” as “collusion” is that with “connive”, the wink goes only the one way, i.e., the school principle connived in the mass absences of the school’s students, half of whom were absent owing to the World Cup qualifying match. Now, if there’s a wink and then a responding wink, that’s a conspiracy (and not conniving).

  • DoppiaVu

    Interesting post.

    The problem with individual judges/magistrates defining what collusion means solely in the context of a single particular case is if their definition doesn’t chime with what joe public understands the word collusion to mean.

    The word collusion, as typically bandied about on Slugger, tends to refer to the British (or sometimes Irish) Government sanctioning dubious and/or illegal acts.

    A definition of collusion given in a previous post above is that it is an act entered into by 2 or more persons to do something unlawful. By this definition, a prison officer who was bribed by paramilitaries into turning a blind eye to smuggled guns would be guilty of collusion. The implications of this type of collusion are clearly different from the implications of collusion in its normal Slugger usage.

    And what if it was blackmail rather than bribery that was used to get the prison officer on-side. Does coercion mean that it isn’t collusion?

  • Hedley Lamarr

    Judge Corry made extensive research using both dictionaries and thesauri in order to come to an adequate definition of ‘collusion’. Why has the original definition been changed?

    Perhaps even if we agree that if the authorities intentionally allow a killing to take place because they want it to happen and the killers have no knowledge of this it may not be collusion but the word used to describe it doesn’t make it any less wrong, illegal etc.

    The problem with excluding cases like this is that if an informer tells the police that a killing is to take place but he doesn’t tell the killers about the police knowledge (obviously) and the authorities stand back when they could have prevented it under the new definition it isn’t collusion. It is a mere omission to act.

    That is a very narrow definition.

  • SK

    Amazing isn’t it?

    The same people who wore their contempt for the victims of Bloody Sunday like some badge of honour are now falling over themselves to express empathy for this Loyalist psychopath. DUP hypocrisy seems to go conveniently un-noticed by the unionist community.

  • Drumlin Rock

    The “consensus” up to now was if a “servant of the state” had some knowledge of a crime or possible crime and failed to act then the state as a whole is guilty of Collusion.
    So if a binman say, saw “suspicious materials” when emptying a bin and failed to report it due to some sympathy he might have for the parties involved, would that count as State Collusion?

  • quality

    fitzjames horse

    Completely agree with a hierarchy of victims. Scary to see Jeffrey Donaldson and David Simpson in particular calling for further enquiry.

  • Dev

    If there wasn’t any collusion on behalf of the prison authorities I think that would be more disturbing. While it is an utterly reprehensible thing for agents of the state to do, I can understand the (twisted) logic of people in the security services, govt, etc wanting rid of Billy Wright & facilitating the circumstances of his murder. On the other hand, if his death was the result of simple negligence it means that what was supposed to be one of the most secure prisons in the coutry was so badly run that guns could be smuggled in, holes left in fences & staff ended up trapping an intended mruder victim in area with those who wish to kill him.

  • slappymcgroundout

    See, Regina v. Dytham ([1979] 1 Queen’s Bench Reports at p. 722), where a police officer stood by while a man died outside a club in a murderous assault, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of the officer for wilful neglect to perform a duty.

    That’s about as good as it gets absent a conspiracy.

  • slappymcgroundout

    From that same Saoirse32 piece I cited above:

    He [Kennaway] said security was so lax that prisoners were able to smuggle in a puppy. “Before we killed Wright security had all but collapsed in the Maze. We were getting drink into the jail every week. A loyalist even managed to smuggle a puppy into H-Block 6 before he was caught with it on the wings. It was a joke. We took a risk smuggling the guns in, but it was not impossible.

    How in Deity’s name do you sneak a puppy into the prison? You can watch the one Peter Taylor series and hear Brendan Hughes speak to putting things up one’s rear end during a visit, but a puppy?

    Lastly, you hinted at the horrible reality. In what was supposed to be a secure maximum security facility, some smuggled in a puppy. That pretty much says it all.

  • Rory Carr


    Your imagery alluding to puppies being inserted into arseholes was unsettling to say the least. A Richard Gere + gerbil moment on Slugger – that’s a first – let’s hope that it does not set a pattern.

    But, on topic, this narrowing of the definition of collusion to be followed by McLean can only serve to broaden the escape route through which any state agents may wriggle free in any future investigations and for that reason we have cause to be concerned. More seriously it throws the whole conclusion by McLean into doubt and leaves us with the feeling that such enquiries, despite their length and appalling purported cost, are not to be trusted and not worth pursuing. By which I suppose a cynic might conclude that McLean has served the Crown admirably.

  • Seosamh

    Not in East Belfast it didn’t.

  • Dev

    Was Richard Gere a Loyalist prisoner at the time of the puppy smuggling episode, the people need to know!!

  • Dev

    Bah, I didn’t see you hit on the Gere angle before me!

  • DC

    Boom! In the back of the net.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Rory, I didn’t have a Gere moment. I didn’t think for a moment that someone would have tried that. I was simply thinking, no way that thought occurs to anyone, so how the heck do you get the puppy in? Did someone rig the pup with a parachute and set a timing device to deploy the parachute in X seconds, and then they threw the puppy over the fence/wall?

    Now on to more serious matters, the purported change of definition of collusion is the proverbial red-herring. Read the report. Everything is ascribed to their negligent conduct, so it isn’t the case that they “turned a blind eye”. This is some were trying to do their duty but failed to exercise reasonable care in doing so, i.e., they simply didn’t do what a reasonable prison officer would have done in like circumstance. Tantamount to calling it a routine traffic accident, and so not having the guard in the tower (though that was not found to facilitate the death) is like crashing into grandma in the crosswalk because you were fooling with the radio dial. This three human panel could have kept the same definition of collusion and reached the exact same result. Or would have reached the same result.

    For one more example, the transfer of the INLA men to the Maze. Could have been ascribed to a desire to have Billy Wright killed, i.e., move the assassins into position. Not what they said. Instead said, were negligent for not doing a proper risk assessment.

    I’ll give you a home example. The water in the pipe in the bathroom that goes from the wall to the toilet retaining tank there on top is under pressure. They removed the pipe from the tank without first turning off the water first. Not turning a blind eye and you surely didn’t want to flood your bathroom and quite possibly your house. But there was an omission, or two, as you failed to turn off the water and that becuase you did not conduct a proper risk assessment and so you didn’t know that the water in the pipe was under pressure and so the water need be turned off first. That isn’t turning a blind eye, it’s just being stupid. That’s what they’re saying happened here. So, again, the definition of collusion is irrelevant.

    The only way it matters is if they had said instead, some knew exactly the risks involved and went ahead anyway, intending that some untoward event would happen to Mr. Wright, even though they had no plan with the INLA that would serve to facilitate the murder. That would be Judge Cory’s collusion. They didn’t say that such happened. So, for the third time, the definition of collusion is irrelevant.

    Lastly, see my remark above re Regina v. Dytham. No matter notion of “collusion” there is always the possibility that some find themselves in trouble as a result of their failure to perform an official duty. Turning a blind eye would be a textbook example of such a failure.

    Almost forgot, but if it helps, think of it this way. The criminal and tort law would define an intentional state of mind as either (1) acting for the purpose of causing a particular result, or (2) knowing with substantial certainty that the particular result will follow. If they had found that, well, either one of those, then you’d have the circumstance where the Cory verus McLean definitions of collusion would be in play. Again, they didn’t find any of that. So, for one more time, the purported change of definition is red-herring. Truly lastly, note my CAPS in my first post. That’s the intentional versus negligent distinction. So the panel was aware of that. As I tried to communicate, it was all written off to stupidity and not malice.

    Sorry, for one more, I don’t share the view in your last line. This was Keystone Kops. I didn’t elaborate on some other things because one soul made the point. Here in the US, we have a baseball field warning track inside the wall, and woe to the inmate who is observed on that warning track. These clowns allowed the inmates to put chairs in front of the fence, which served to hide the shoelaces holding the cut piece of the fence in place. And if you read the report, there was also a dispute over procedure and protocol. They were also short of men, that day specifically, they need 8 more souls for the visits. So that took people from other responsibilities. And on it goes. I might consider that it was setup, but no one is intentionally that stupid, i.e., some stupid just can’t fake. If it helps, this report does exactly cover Her Majesty in glory.

    Oh, by the way, on unrelated note, did you read the BBC piece on Willie’s EU funding being eliminated? See:

    Love the picture of Willie….

  • slappymcgroundout

    Sorry, should read: …this report does not exactly cover Her Majesty in glory.

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely the legal concept of ‘the guilty mind’ is relevant in this discussion?

    Doing your job badly through laziness or stupidlty puts you in the wrong but is not the same as being conscious of the consequences of say acts of ommission etc.

  • Rory Carr


    I do realise that you were not seriously suggesting that the puppy was smuggled in en cul so to speak (if my colloqial French is up to scratch), but, as Dave found also, the Gere riposte was just irresistable.

    As to the matter of McLean narrowing the definition of collusion – Shaun Woodward certainly seemed more than a little troubled by exactly that when he spoke to Will Crawley on Talkback earlier today although he of course would offer no open criticism of what he saw as McLean’s departure from Cory’s original ground rules.

    The role of the INLA in the murder does raise questions however as they had a bit of a history of collusion with Loyalist groups and that might well have extended to an agreement to act as Wright’s executioner on their behalf assured (in the interests of the peace talks and the carrot of early release for their guys) that their gaolers would accomodate their action with discretion.

    That INLA spokesman, Willie Wosisname has gone public to deny any collusion with the authorities is hardly surprising as they would be at pains to retain their self-given and self-serving image of anti-state purists. But, having said that, I agree that it is perfectly plausible that they were able to smuggle in the weapons and effect the killing due to an abysmal deterioration of standards at the prison which, as you say, the ability to smuggle in a puppy only highlights.

    Yet it remains an unsatisfactory report and that, I believe, is its major function for the Westminster government – it makes it easier to drop the notion of further such enquiries – they cost too much and satisfy none – or so the argument will run – so why bother? The promise to investigate state collusion in the murder of Pat Finnucane would seem to be the first casualty I hear.

  • tacapall

    “The role of the INLA in the murder does raise questions however as they had a bit of a history of collusion with Loyalist groups and that might well have extended to an agreement to act as Wright’s executioner on their behalf assured (in the interests of the peace talks and the carrot of early release for their guys) that their gaolers would accomodate their action with discretion”.

    Clutching at straws there Rory going by what you claim everyone was involved in this conspiracy including PIRA for they controlled the blocks nothing went down by republicans without them giving the nod. What about David Keyes murder in the same block, was that another conspiracy or is he too far down the ladder for Unionists because he made the mistake of murdering a protestant along with his catholic friend.

  • Hedley Lamarr

    Case law is not relevant. The main reason is that we are discussing why a definition set for a number of inquiries has been changed during one of those inquiries. This specific legal question has not been tested in the courts.

    If the courts haven’t tested collusion or whatever you want to call it without a conspiracy we will have to wait until they do before we know “that’s about as good as it gets”.

    Do the police/authorities ‘Aid’ a murder if they have prior knowledge and don’t act on it? What if they find out who the killers are and don’t arrest them? That is an omission but is it collusion?