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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Judge completes murder reviews
Judge Peter Cory
Judge Cory is examining controversial murders

The Canadian judge examining allegations of security force collusion in murders on both sides of the Northern Ireland border has completed his sixth and final case.

Justice Peter Cory will deliver reports to the British and Irish governments on 7 October along with his recommendation on whether he thinks there should be public inquiries into the murders.

The killings he has been examining are some of the most controversial of the last 25 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

They include the loyalist murders of Catholic solicitors Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, two senior RUC officers and a High Court judge killed by the IRA, and a loyalist paramilitary leader murdered in prison by republicans.

Judge Cory was appointed by London and Dublin following the Weston Park political negotiations in 2001.

During the past two months he has been working from Garda headquarters in Dublin, examining evidence in the murders of Royal Ulster Constabulary officers Supt Bob Buchanan and Inspector Harry Breen, and Lord Justice Maurice Gibson and his wife Cecily.

The RUC officers were shot by the IRA as they returned north from a security meeting with gardai in the border town of Dundalk.

There have been allegations that they were set up by someone in the Irish police force.
High-profile solicitor Rosemary Nelson was murdered
High-profile solicitor Rosemary Nelson was murdered

Lord Justice and Lady Gibson were killed by an IRA remote-controlled car bomb as they drove over the Irish border back into Northern Ireland after a holiday in April 1987.

As the judge's car reached the border, he stopped to shake hands with the garda security escort who had completed their part of the assignment. The couple had only a short drive to meet the RUC escort to Belfast.

Some unionists have alleged that the responsibility lay with an IRA mole within the gardai.

Catholic mother-of-three Rosemary Nelson died in a booby-trap car bomb near her home in Lurgan, County Armagh, on 15 March 1999.

National security concerns

There have been allegations of security force collusion in the killing because of Mrs Nelson's role as solicitor for the nationalist Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition and other high-profile cases.

Billy Wright, who formed the paramilitary Loyalist Volunteer Force, was shot dead while serving a sentence in the Maze prison on 27 December 1997.

His father, David, has been pressing for an inquiry into his son's murder claiming the authorities colluded in the murder.

Both governments say they will read the reports before informing the families of the judge's decision.

London and Dublin also say they may have to blank out parts of the documents before publishing them if they compromise national security.




SEE ALSO:
Judge halfway into murders probe
15 Apr 03  |  Northern Ireland
Judge to examine collusion claims
30 May 02  |  Northern Ireland
Unresolved deaths: A question of collusion?
02 Aug 01  |  Northern Ireland
Inquiry judge's Dublin move
26 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland


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