Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 18:43 UK

'I didn't phone murder suspect'

Robert Hamill
Mr Hamill died 11 days after being beaten in Portadown

A former RUC officer has denied phoning a suspect in the Robert Hamill murder inquiry and telling him to destroy the clothes he was wearing that night.

Robert Atkinson is one of four officers accused of standing by as Mr Hamill, a Catholic, was beaten by loyalists in Portadown in April 1997.

Phone records show that a call was made from Mr Atkinson's home to Alister Hanvey just hours after the attack.

However, Mr Atkinson said the call was made by a friend staying at his house.

On Monday, Ashley Underwood QC, the senior lawyer for the Robert Hamill Inquiry, referred to a statement by Mr Hanvey's girlfriend at the time.

'Good to him'

She said Alister Hanvey told her Robert Atkinson had "been good to him" and that he phoned him on the morning after the attack, telling him to burn the clothes he was wearing.

The statement also said that the former RUC officer agreed to call Mr Hanvey daily to keep him informed about progress in the police investigation.

The inquiry continues.

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