… 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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