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Monday, 11 February, 2002, 15:12 GMT
'Delay' over Finucane inquiry decision
Pat Finucane was shot dead in 1989
Pat Finucane's family are campaigning for inquiry
The widow of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has criticised the government for a "delay" in considering her appeal for an independent inquiry.

In November last year, Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid told Geraldine Finucane an international judge would be appointed to decide if an independent public inquiry into her husband's death was necessary.

But on Monday - the 13th anniversary her husband's death - Mrs Finucane said she believed this would only slow down the process of finding out what happened.

Mrs Finucane met the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister and SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams at Stormont on Monday to highlight her family's concerns.

Geraldine Finucane:
Geraldine Finucane: "We are concerned process is stalling"

She said both party leaders pledged their support.

"We are crucially worried that the appointment of a judge to review the facts and to see if an inquiry is necessary will stall the process," she said.

"What worries me is that the shredders will be working faster."

Mr Adams said it was crucial the truth about Pat Finucane's murder came out.

He said: "We will support the family's position as has been the case all along."

Controversial killing

A high-profile Catholic solicitor, Pat Finucane was shot dead by the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association in front of his family at his home in 1989.

Allegations made by a former UDA quartermaster and police informer, William Stobie, about information he allegedly gave to the police before the murder have led to accusations of security force collusion in the murder.

Mr Stobie was himself murdered near his Belfast home last December, after a trial at which he was accused of assisting Mr Finucane's murderers collapsed through lack of evidence.

No-one has been convicted of Mr Finucane's murder.

In December last year, the Metropolitan police officer leading the police inquiry into the murder, Hugh Orde, said that although his team was not giving up, it was unlikely they would find the person who killed Mr Finucane.

See also:

27 Nov 01 | Northern Ireland
Judge to rule over inquiry call
26 Nov 01 | Northern Ireland
Pat Finucane: A controversial killing
15 Jun 01 | Northern Ireland
Finucane: More questions for undercover unit
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

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