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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 February, 2005, 09:26 GMT
30m may go to 'cold case probe'
Orde
Hugh Orde may get up to 30m to investigate unsolved murders
Chief Constable Hugh Orde may get as much as 30m to investigate unsolved murders from the Troubles, an SDLP assembly member has said.

Patricia Lewsley said the government is close to agreeing this sum.

She also claimed the government is considering setting up a panel to look into whether there should be a truth and reconciliation commission.

Mrs Lewsley said if this is confirmed "it will represent some progress but is still short of what is needed".

"The SDLP will continue to press in coming days for further movement including the quick creation of a Victims' Forum and the establishment now of a truth recovery process," she said.

Detectives

If the figure of 30m to investigate so-called cold cases is confirmed it would be much more than anticipated would be pledged by the government.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy announced in September that the role of the Serious Crime Review team investigating unsolved murders would be expanded.

Last October, Mr Orde told the Policing Board that retired detectives may be brought in to review about 1,800 unsolved cases once the financial backing is in place.

"It would involve seconding a small number of officers from other police services, if I can get them," he said.

Mr Orde said "a substantial degree of independence" was important, "otherwise, we will not have credibility".

New forensic techniques would be made available in the hope of achieving breakthroughs in the cases.


SEE ALSO:
Unsolved murders team 'independent'
10 Nov 04 |  Northern Ireland
Murder 'link to Shankill Butchers'
04 Nov 04 |  Northern Ireland
Killings will 'go unsolved'
10 Jun 03 |  Northern Ireland


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