Ombudsman finds ‘collusive behaviours’ by police in North in 19 murders by loyalists

Ombudsman finds ‘collusive behaviours’ by police in North in 19 murders by loyalists

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Police demonstrated “collusive behaviours” in relation to 19 loyalist murders in the northwest between 1989 and 1993, according to a report published today (Friday) by the North’s Police Ombudsman.

Marie Anderson also raised “significant concerns” about police conduct, and said the failure to consider additional tactics to disrupt the activities of the North West UDA/UFF hours before eight people were killed in the attack on the Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel, Co Derry, in October 1993, was a “significant missed opportunity”.

However, her investigation found no evidence the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) had any prior knowledge of any of the attacks considered in her report.

Deputy chief constable Mark Hamilton has apologised to the families of those killed and those injured for the report’s findings, and said the PSNI remained “firmly committed to bringing those responsible for these murders to justice”.

The 336-page report examined police actions in regard to 11 paramilitary attacks by the North West UDA/UFF between 1989 and 1993, which resulted in 19 murders and a number of attempted murders.

As well as the Greysteel killings they included the deaths of four workmen in Castlerock, Co Derry, in 1993, and the murder of Sinn Féin councillor Eddie Fullerton in Buncrana, Co Donegal, in 1991.

Ms Anderson said that as a result of her inquiries a report identifying a number of “evidential links connecting an individual to several murders and attempted murders” was compiled and presented to the police in 2016.

It is not clear whether this report was actioned. Ms Anderson said her office had inquired about its status “on a number of occasions”, and the PSNI had indicated investigation was “subject to their prioritisation and sequencing model for historic investigation”.

Collusion

Referring to the “broad definition” of collusion provided by Sir John Stevens – which included “wilful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and evidence, through to the extreme of agents being involved in murder” – Ms Anderson said her investigation had “identified all of t

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