Judge’s probe is not good enough, say victims

IVU spokesman Kenny Donaldson
IVU spokesman Kenny Donaldson

An open inquiry held in the full glare of the public eye is being demanded by one victims’ spokesman.

Kenny Donaldson from Innocent Victims United (IVU) said that the current judge-led inquiry into exactly how the “letters of comfort” came to be secretly issued to paramilitary suspects “falls short of what is needed.”

Although a report is expected to be concluded by the end of May, the proceedings which lead to it being drawn up will be held privately.

Witnesses will not be compelled to give evidence either.

Mr Donaldson issued a statement which read: “We demanded and we continue to demand a full public inquiry into these most serious of issues...

“We do not believe that the judge-led inquiry as proposed will deliver the kind of answers that are required to rebuild the trust and confidence of victims in particular, but also the wider public.”

The call was backed by TUV MLA Jim Allister, who hit out at the present planned inquiry as a “pitiful review into the paperwork of the OTR scheme”.

He said: “It is also imperative at this time that the Chief Constable comes clean on how the OTR arrangements have thwarted and subverted HET inquiries.

“How many OTRs have been identified as suspects in HET investigations and is this why the imbalance in favour of no action in cases of republican killers is so pronounced?

“It’s time for the truth to be told.”