The PFC is named in memory of Pat Finucane, a human rights lawyer from Belfast who was murdered in front of his wife and children on 12 February 1989 by the pro-British UDA. Pat had successfully challenged the British Government over several important human rights cases. One of those involved in his murder, Brian Nelson, was working for the Force Research Unit an undercover unit of British Military Intelligence.
Posters, featuring the international lawyers petition supporting the UN Special Rapporteur's appeal for a Judicial Inquiry into Pat Finucane's killing, against a background photo of Pat himself are still available from the PFC. The rates, including postage and packaging, are: £ 4.50 stg (N of Ireland and Britain) £ 5.50 stg (Republic of Ireland) 10.00 dollars (USA). For rates further afield please email us here at the centre.
Finucane Family file Judicial Review Proceedings in Belfast High Court
On Monday (12 January 04) Judge Cory, the Canadian judge who investigated allegations of collusion, contacted the families and/or legal teams of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill and Billy Wright to inform them that he had recommended public inquiries in all four cases.To date the British government has refused to release Judge Cory's findings and recommendations despite a commitment to do so.
See also Judge Cory's recommendations to the Irish government which were released in December. The Finucane family welcomed the fact that Judge Cory had kept faith with the families in a situation where Prime Minister Tony Blair had failed to do so.
European Court of Human Rights Judgement in the case Finucane v. the United Kingdom (1 July 2003)
European Court of Human Rights Press Release in the case Finucane v. the United Kingdom
Stevens' Report: Westminster Debate of Wednesday 14th of May 2003.
Stevens' Report: Finucane family statement (17th April 2003).
Stevens' Report: Press statement from NGOs (17th April 2003).
Full text of the public version of John Stevens interim report on the murder of Pat Finucane, Adam Lambert and security force collusion with loyalist paramilitaries, released 17/04/03.
(It is a 500k PDF file. You will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat or an equivalent program to read it. (Most internet enabled computers have this.) It may take a while to download. You could expect it to take at least two minutes on a typical telephone connection - twice that if your modem is an older model.)
Response by the Finucane family to the UN Special Rapporteurs Report to the Commission on Human Rights (March 2002)
UN Special Rapporteurs Report to the Commission on Human Rights, including an update on the Finucane case (March 2002)
Pat Finucane Family Solicitors submission to Judge Cory
They killed my father (Michael Finucane, The Guardian, February 13, 2001)
Truth Or Continuing Cover Up? A Full Public Judicial Inquiry Now, by Peter Madden on behalf of the Finucane family (12, February 2002)
A Joint NGO statement on the anniversary of the murder of Patrick Finucane - No inquiry 13 years later (12, February 2002)
Beyond Collusion: The UK Security Forces and the Murder of Patrick Finucane, a new report from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (12, February 2002)
A Joint Statement issued by the Law Society (England and Wales), the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Human Rights Committee of the Bar Council (Northern Ireland) on the 13th Anniversary of the murder (12, February 2002)
An article in the Sunday Times states that a police informer claims he killed lawyer in his home (January 2002)
An article from the Boston Herald relating to ongoing allegations regarding Pat Finucane's murder (January 2002)
UN Special Rapporteur Press Statement on William Stobie Murder. (17 December, 2001)
Press releases from Amnesty International and Committee on the Administration of Justice on murder of William Stobie.(December 13th, 2001).
The murder of William Stobie update /British Irish Rights Watch open letter on Stobie killing (December 12, 2001).
A statement from the Finucane family on the murder of William Stobie (December 12, 2001).
The full transcript of the UTV Insight television programme, Justice On Trial, broadcast on Tuesday December 4 2001 is now available. The hard hitting investigation again focused attention on the role of the security services, RUC Special Branch, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the British Attorney General in the Finucane case.
A statement from the Finucane family in response to the collapse of the trial of William Stobie, the former RUC agent and UDA member charged in connection with the murder of Pat Finucane. (26 November 2001)
A Statement from the Finucane family on media speculation about the Police Ombudsman (July 2001).
New York Times editorial on Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, (June 2001).
New allegations in Finucane case /Transcript of UTV Insight programme.
British Irish Rights Watch - "Shooting the messenger: attempts to suppress the UTV television documentary "following orders".
The Guardian and Independent articles relating to the recent (2001) censorship.
Evidence is also emerging of the involvement of Brian Nelson and the British Army Force Research Unit in other murders. See here for details of the cases of Gerald Slane, Terence Mc Daid, Patrick Hamill and Francisco Notorantonio.
Testimony given at Brian Nelson's trial by 'Colonel J', the officer who commanded the Force Research Unit, can be accessed here. It is now known that 'Colonel J' is in fact Brigadier John Gordon Kerr, at present military attache to the British embassy in Beijing in China. According to media reports in the Sunday Times (10.9.00) Kerr and a number of other former members of the FRU face arrest and questioning by the Stevens team investigating the Finucane case.
The British Irish Rights Watch document, released on February 24 2000, about State collusion in the murder of Pat Finucane is now available on line.
This is the second major document in a year on the murder of Pat Finucane to be prepared by BIRW. The report which highlights "considerable evidence of an official cover-up" in the case, was presented to the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Foreign Minister, Brian Cowen, and Minister of State, Liz O'Donnell. Geraldine Finucane accompanied by her sons Michael and John, brother-in-law Martin Finucane and Jane Winter of BIRW presented the document in a meeting with the Irish government.
This report raises serious questions over the role of British military intelligence and the RUC, as well as that of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Junior Minister Liz O'Donnell said that the report made the case for an inquiry "compelling".
On November 28, 1999 the Sunday Times then reported that the British government had placed a gagging order on the paper prohibiting publication of further information from an alleged former member of the Force Research Unit, the undercover army unit which helped plan Pat Finucane's murder. This Sunday Times article can be accessed here.
A statement on the appointment of John Stevens to investigate the murder of Pat Finucane
On November 21, 1999 the Sunday Times newspaper claimed that a secret unit of the British Army set fire to the offices of the Stevens Inquiry in 1990. That inquiry, led by senior British police officer John Stevens, was set up to investigate allegations of collusion between members of the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries. According to the article the burglary and burning of the offices was caried out in order to delay the investigation which was to lead to the arrest of British Army agent Brian Nelson. Nelson was later shown to have played a central role in the murder of Pat Finucane. The Sunday Times article can be accessed here.
Considerable controversy surrounds the decision of the Stevens Inquiry into Pat Finucane's murder to prosecute a journalist who revealed startling new information on the case in the Sunday Tribune newspaper. Following a court hearing on Monday August 24 1999 the journalist remained adamant that he would not hand his original notes over to the Stevens team. The original Sunday Tribune article can be accessed along with an opinion piece on the case from media expert Roy Greenslade.
Update - Wednesday, 27 October 1999 - The High Court in Belfast overturned a lower court's order requiring journalist Ed Maloney to hand over his interview notes with William Stobie. The original ruling was quashed on the grounds that the RUC had failed to demonstrate that Maloney's notes would have an impact on the inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.
Ed Maloney is the Northern editor of the Sunday Tribune; William Stobie has been charged with the murder of Pat Finucane.
The 1999 (January 13) published UN report on the murder of Pat Finucane and intimidation of defence lawyers in the North of Ireland is available on the web at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
In his report, the Special Rapporteur when talking above State involvment in the murder of Pat Finucane, comments that "there is at least prima facie evidence of such collusion".
The 1998 published UN report on the murder of Pat Finucane and intimidation of defence lawyers in the North of Ireland is available on the web at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
Pages 20-23 of Amnesty International's report on "Political Killings in Northern Ireland" discuss the killing of Pat Finucane. [Alternative Source]
Here is the home page of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, the firm Pat Finucane belonged to.
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