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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 11:41 GMT
Ex-judge furious at man's arrest
Tom Travers and his daughter, Mary
Tom Travers and his daughter, Mary
A retired judge has hit out at the arrest of a former Special Branch police officer amid allegations of a cover-up in his daughter's murder.

Tom Travers was shot six times and his 22-year-old daughter, Mary, was killed when an IRA gang opened fire on them outside a Belfast church in 1984.

An ex-detective claimed four years ago that he had witnessed a cover-up of the killing. He was arrested on Wednesday.

In the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Travers said he was "a valuable witness".

However, the ombudsman has defended the arrest.

She said the arrest was absolutely necessary if the circumstances surrounding the murder are to be properly investigated.

The man was arrested on Wednesday, but later released on police bail pending further questioning.

Mr Travers said he had phoned Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan to complain about the arrest.

The retired Special Branch officer claimed there was a cover-up in the investigation to protect an informer.

He said another Special Branch officer allowed a member of the IRA, who was a police agent, to destroy vital evidence including the murder weapon.

The officer said he contacted the police ombudsman four years ago, but withdrew his co-operation two years later because he was unhappy with the investigation into his claims.

Mr Travers has strongly criticised the Ombudsman, describing the Special Branch officer as a valuable witness trying to solve his daughter's murder and expose a police cover-up.

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