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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 May, 2004, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Orde calls for equal truth process
Chief Constable Hugh Orde
Mr Orde said there could not be 'a hierarchy of death'
The debate around dealing with Northern Ireland's past includes the consideration of an amnesty the chief constable has said.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster on Sunday, Hugh Orde said he also believed that any truth process should apply to all parties involved in the conflict.

Mr Orde said a special investigation unit is hard at work.

The team has been tasked with finding out whether advances in forensic science could help secure convictions in a number of cases.

However, he added that he believes the key to the future to any truth process is equality between all the parties.

Whatever we do, there are going to be difficulties and sensitivities that we cannot avoid
Paul Murphy
NI Secretary

"I think whatever process applies has to apply universally," he told the Sunday Sequence programme.

"And that's not just my view, if you read the Sinn Fein document that came out in September, one of their assertions is that there has to be no hierarchy of death, if you like, there has to be a process that applies equally to everyone. I don't think you can distinguish," he said.

His comments come as the government launched a consultation process on how best to deal with the past.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy told the House of Commons last Thursday that he would be holding discussions with a wide range of individuals and groups over the next few weeks.

Also speaking on Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence programme Mr Murphy admitted dealing with the past was a sensitive issue.

"Whatever we do, there are going to be difficulties and sensitivities that we cannot avoid," he said.

"That is why we will not go into this with any sort of heavy hand at all.

"This really is a process which I hope will be one which from my point of view and from the government's point of view is very much a listening process and a learning process.

"The last thing we want to do is make anything worse.

"That is not our aim at all, obviously our aim is to try and make things better."

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27 May 04  |  Northern Ireland
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14 May 04  |  Northern Ireland
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10 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland

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