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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 18:36 GMT
Finucane family granted judicial review
Pat Finucane was killed by loyalists in his home in 1989
Pat Finucane was killed by loyalists in his home in 1989
The widow of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has been granted leave for a judicial review.

Geraldine Finucane will challenge the Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir John Stevens in the High Court over his alleged failure to give her documentary evidence relating to her husband's murder in 1989.

Mrs Finucane said on Wednesday she was glad the court had decided there was an arguable case.

The Metropolitan Police have denied they failed to provide Mrs Finucane with information about the investigation into his death.

On Tuesday, lawyers acting for Mr Finucane's family launched a legal challenge against Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, who is leading the investigation.

The family claim he failed to provide documentary material about the killing after an offer to do so.

However, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that legal statements or documents had not been offered to the family, as this would have been inappropriate before the trial of a man suspected of involvement in the 1989 murder came to court.

Sir John Stevens is to face legal proceedings
Sir John Stevens is to face legal proceedings

"A briefing by police, about the investigation in the run up to the trial was offered to Mrs Finucane if she would find it helpful," he said.

"At no stage were statements or documents relating to the forthcoming trial offered, as this would not have been appropriate prior to the start of court proceedings.

"From the outset of their enquiries, officers from the Stevens team have made repeated offers to Mrs Finucane to keep her up to date with the progress of the investigation, but she has declined these offers."

The loyalist paramilitary Ulster Freedom Fighters/Ulster Defence Association said it killed Mr Finucane.

Nationalists have always alleged security force collusion in the shooting.


At no stage were statements or documents relating to the forthcoming trial offered, as this would not have been appropriate prior to the start of court proceedings

Stevens Inquiry Team spokesperson

John Stevens headed the special inquiry team set up to investigate these allegations and he led the Finucane murder investigation.

Mrs Finucane said Hugh Orde, who leads the day-to-day running of the investigation, wrote to her offering any support she needed during the trial of William Stobie, the man accused of her husband's murder.

But she said the police chief had refused to let her see any relevant documentation.

Mr Finucane's family has consistently refused to acknowledge the Stevens inquiry and is demanding a judicial inquiry into the murder.

Meanwhile, the trial of Mr Stobie, an ex-Ulster Defence Association quartermaster, has been adjourned.

William Stobie is charged with murdering Pat Finucane
William Stobie is charged with murdering Pat Finucane

Lawyers for Mr Stobie, who has confessed to working as a police informer, were due to apply to have the trial halted.

His defence barrister announced his intention to lodge an abuse of process, claiming no new evidence against the 51-year-old north Belfast man had emerged in a decade.

However, the case was adjourned on Tuesday because the judge was ill.

Stobie denies murdering Mr Finucane through aiding and abetting, counselling and procuring.

He has also been charged with the murder of 19-year-old County Fermanagh man Adam Lambert in 1987.

See also:

13 Nov 01 | Northern Ireland
Legal action in Finucane case
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