… to prosecute cases if the evidence emerges …

The Detail has an interesting piece to set alongside the DPP’s comments regarding confronting the past. It concerns the RUC and HET investigations into the killings such as the attack on Sean Grahams on the Ormeau Road which involved a Browning that was handed to the UFF/UDA by the RUC.

The Detail outlines how:

In 2010 the families were informed by the Historic Enquiries Team (HET) that police had “disposed of” interview notes of two loyalists who’d been caught in possession of the Browning three months after the bookmaker’s attack.

Despite being caught red handed with the murder weapon, neither man faced any charges in connection with the bookmaker’s massacre.

It would later emerge that one was the son of an RUC man.

Two senior detectives who headed the investigation into the bookmaker’s murders failed to co-operate with the HET inquiry into the killing.

Documents have come into the possession of the families which contradict police claims that the murder weapon had been deactivated by Special Branch and that the interview notes of the two murder suspects had been destroyed.

In October 2011 the families’ solicitor obtained papers from the Court Service relating to the arrest of the two loyalists who’d been found in possession of the murder weapon three months after the attack on the bookmakers.

The documents included the police interview notes of the two gunmen, which the families had previously been told had been destroyed.

Despite having been found in possession of a weapon that had killed six people and injured ten others the police interview notes reveal that neither man was questioned about the bookmakers or Devenish Bar attacks.

However, the families are also now demanding answers after a forensic report disclosed in the same papers contradict Special Branch claims that it had deactivated the weapon.

Meanwhile the DPP suggests that an option is:

… giving more resources to the investigators to get on with the investigating, and then consequentially the prosecution service to prosecute cases if the evidence emerges …

The evidence of the failings around the Sean Grahams and Devenish Bar investigations  such that serious question remain about the capacity of any of the policing institutions to perform their investigative functions so that prosecuions can be brought. It also reinforces the need for an audit of the retired RUC staff who were re-hired by the PSNI and the level of access they have had to the HET or other sensitive areas, in any capacity.

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  • tacapall

    Why have those Special Branch officers and those senior police officers who approved the handover not been charged with conspiracy to murder or even aiding and abetting terrorists. Surely supplying a weapon supposedly de-activated or not that is then used to murder innocent civilians is a crime. To then further attempt to cover their tracks by allowing those who they believed carried out the attack escape justice is further evidence of the depths to which the RUC/Special Branch colluded with terrorists. There should be a public inquiry into the activities of RUC Special Branch during the early 80s untill the present day Im sure 100s of unsolved murders would be solved along with answers to serious questions regarding who was pulling who’s strings when it came to targetting, supplying the weapons and actively carrying out the murders. As each year passes we are drip fed titbits of the truth about the activities of these so called officers of the law, its about time we should all be told the full extent of their role in controlling and prolonging the past conflict.

  • galloglaigh

    Yep… That bag of bad apples is suddenly turning into half an orchard!

  • seamus60

    Anything that might implicate anyone in authority regards of what side, will have great trouble seeing the light of day.
    A well established pattern.

  • Mary Anna

    Justice for everyone not just some! The state psin/f loyalists wishful thinking that all the killing will all go away and we all live happily ever after- but we will never let you forget sinners and the state and will fight for justice- prosecutions.And we won’t hit people over the head with a big stick to get what we want- or blow people to bits and shoot people in the back- but by peaceful means. Justice for everyone

  • Old Mortality

    ‘It concerns the RUC and HET investigations into the killings such as the attack on Sean Grahams on the Ormeau Road which involved a Browning that was handed to the UFF/UDA by the RUC.’

    That sentence is (tendentiously?) misleading (as is the UTV headline). It implies that the RUC supplied the weapon which was used in those muders rather than seized and rerurned after the event. Well maybe they did but no supporting evidence is provided.

  • tacapall

    Old Mortality
    It implies that the RUC supplied the weapon which was used in those muders rather than seized and rerurned after the event.

    Maybe your not seeing what everyone else is but the quote below is absolutely clear. Are you sujesting that the HET findings are flawed or untrue.

    “Police may have thought they had tampered with it to prevent it from being used. But the UDA subsequently used it in a number of murders, including the 1992 massacre”

  • John Ó Néill

    Old Mortality: that is the sequence of events.

  • aquifer

    The truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

    The perpetrators of that dreadful act met their maker sooner than expected.

  • Tomassio

    Its interesting (if not wholly unsuprising) to couple this with the Belfast Project episodes. Surely, if the PSNI are intent on prosecuting, then it is also in the publics best interests for them to actually conduct a proper investigation into Sean Grahams etc.

    My problem here is thus: are the PSNI going to bury all evidence as they know it would greatly damage, if not destroy, their increasingly dubious reputation? And on the flip side, are they aiming to destroy Sinn Féin and progress in the Peace Process to settle old scores? The PSNI cannot have their cake and eat it. (Although judging by the average profile, there must be equal number of subversants and cake distributors). All this boils down to one fact: until a consensus is reached on HOW to deal with the past, we will constantly clash on WHY groups choose to deal with selected past.