The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that the Independent Monitoring Commission’s investigation into the murder of Bobby Moffett has concluded that his murder was sanctioned by the UVF leadership.
From The Belfast Telegraph:
The IMC has found that the UVF leadership decided Moffett should be shot to eliminate the threat he posed to individual members of the organisation and to send a wider message to the loyalist community that the UVF would not tolerate its authority being flouted.
If anyone hoped that this hardly startling revelation would result in the IMC deciding that the UVF ceasefire was no longer valid, they may be disappointed. The Telegraph further reports:
Although the IMC has concluded that the murder of Moffett was extremely serious, it has decided not to recommend that the Northern Secretary Owen Patterson should “recategorise” the UVF as an organisation not on ceasefire.
The distinct impression is left that the IMC are happy to pretend the UVF are on ceasefire provided they restrict their criminality to murdering working class unionists, drug dealing, racketeering, prostitution and the like. It looks suspiciously as though the problems faced by working class unionist communities do not matter to the IMC. This should hardly be surprising: there have been multiple previous murders by the “on ceasefire” loyalist terrorists.
Mick pointed out below that the McClean enquiry redefined collusion as sins of commission. It seems however, that the IMC define the commission of murder sanctioned by the UVF leadership as not a corporate sin at all. The IMC should maybe reflect on the implications of its finding: the logic could have profound consequences for the concept of Common Purpose in law. It implies that a criminal ordering a murder is not remotely the same thing as committing it.
We are aware of the view that the murder was the result of particular
circumstances and will not be repeated.
Since there have been almost two dozen murders since the loyalist “ceasefire” that can only be described as utterly dishonest nonsense except of course that the UVF cannot murder Mr. Moffett again: just whomever else they may chose to instead.
The IMC further states (20):
We still believe that the leadership of the organisation wants to pursue the 2007 strategy
The UVF 2007 strategy (helpfully stated in part 14 of the report) was:
Paramilitary activity such as recruitment, training and targeting
– So-called active service units would be stood down and the
organisation would be down-sized;
– The involvement of members in crime would be in contravention of
the “command” of the leadership.
Exactly how the UVF leadership’s belief in the above can be squared with Moffett’s murder is difficult to establish though one expects criminals to tell lies. The fact that Lord Alderdice claims the UVF leadership supports its strategy places him in as dishonest a position as the UVF leaders.
Maybe one day there will be a serious attempt to stop the general criminality of loyalist terrorists by robust police action. However, whilst the IMC, which was set up to adjudicate on the ceasefires, continues to participate in and even coordinate the utterly dishonest game of see no evil, hear no evil; there is little chance of that happening.