Court to make ruling on inquiry for Pat Finucane

A mural dedicated to Mr Finucane on Beechmount Drive in west Belfast.
A mural dedicated to Mr Finucane on Beechmount Drive in west Belfast.

The judiciary must refuse to let government draw a line under an alleged abuse of power in the death of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Counsel for the dead lawyer’s widow also insisted no-one in authority has been held accountable for “abominations” surrounding the killing.

The claims were made as judgment was reserved in Geraldine Finucane’s bid to overturn a finding that David Cameron had acted lawfully in refusing to hold a public inquiry into the death.

Mr Finucane was shot by loyalists at his north Belfast home in February 1989.

In 2011 Mr Cameron decided against ordering a public inquiry, and instead commissioned a review of all documents relating to the case to produce a narrative of what happened.

This said that agents of the state were involved in the murder and that it should have been prevented, but concluded there had been no overarching state conspiracy.

The Finucane family rejected the findings.

Last year a High Court judge held Mrs Finucane had received a promise of an inquiry, but backed the Government’s case that other public interest issues, including costs, were enough to warrant not holding one.

Barry Macdonald QC, for Mrs Finucane, told the court the case was about “whether the judicial branch would permit the government to draw a line under [this] abuse of power in the way the government wants it to”.

He added: “It’s our submission that the court ought not to accede to that request.”

Lord Justice Gillen pledged to deliver judgment as soon as possible.