Page last updated at 05:42 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 06:42 UK

Hamill police 'screen testimony'

Robert Hamill
Robert Hamill was beaten to death

Nineteen serving and retired police officers will be able to give their evidence to the Robert Hamill Inquiry from behind screens.

However, they will not be given full anonymity and their names will be made public at the inquiry.

Inquiry chairman Sir Edwin Jowitt made the ruling in response to a request from the officers.

Mr Hamill, 25, was beaten to death by a loyalist mob in Portadown in 1997. No-one has been convicted of the killing.

The inquiry centres around the claim that RUC officers in a nearby Land Rover failed to intervene.

An inquiry spokesman said: "After giving careful consideration to all relevant evidence and legal argument, the inquiry panel has ruled that 19 witnesses who are serving or retired officers may give their evidence from behind a screen.

"While their names will be made public, screening will mean that the witnesses in question cannot be visually identified which will offer them some additional protection.

"The public will still have access to the hearing chamber."

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