The government should explain bluntly why a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane will worsen the legacy imbalance

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There is no better illustration of the legacy scandal than the saga around the murder of Pat Finucane.

Millions of pound of public money have been spent on one despicable Troubles killing, Mr Finucane’s, when 1,000+ other despicable killings have almost no scrutiny, let alone anything on the scale of the Finucane case.

Among the many republican sectarian hatred murders that need a proper probe is that of the late lawyer and unionist politician Edgar Graham –whose family did not even get a proper investigation under the old Historical Enquiries Team.

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The Finucane campaigners initially refused to accept a public inquiry under the terms of the 2005 inquiries act. Consider this statement at the time: “Amnesty International supports the call of Geraldine Finucane ... to all senior judges in England, Wales and Scotland not to serve on an inquiry into her husband's case held under the new legislation.”

In light of this, Downing Street later ordered a sub-inquiry review of the case by the top QC Desmond de Silva, who found collusion but no overarching conspiracy.

Campaigners later quietly dropped their opposition to an inquiry under the 2005 act and resumed their demand for yet more spent on this case. The matter went to the Supreme Court, which said there had been no so-called Article Two probe but everyone including BBC missed that it also said it was up to the government to decide whether to hold one.

A Belfast judge found the same yesterday when this case was once again in court.

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It is outrageous that this case gets so much legal support at a time of financial crisis and when victims of the biggest Troubles killers, the IRA, have no hope of truth.

As the judge said, if London does not think an Article Two probe now feasible (and it isn’t, given that it would further imbalance legacy probes) it should say so clearly and put this matter to bed.

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