British Prime Minister David Cameron has apologized after a report found that the British state had “actively furthered and facilitated the murder” of Northern Ireland lawyer Patrick Finucane in 1989, the Times of London reports.
The report also found that the British state had given information that led to other attacks on Republican and Catholics by Protestant terrorists groups. “It is really shocking this happened in our country,” Cameron said, before personally apologizing to Finucane’s family.
The Telegraph has full video of Cameron’s statement in the House of Commons:
The 500-page report by UN war crimes investigator Sir Desmond da Silva QC had been ordered last October, when the British government formally accepted the state had colluded in the murder of Finucane.
Finucane was shot to death in front of his family by assassins from the UDA loyalist paramilitary wing in 1989.
Sir Desmond wrote in the report:
“The evidence relating to Patrick Finucane’s case has left me in no doubt that agents of the state were involved in carrying out serious violations of human rights up to and including murder. However, despite the different strands of involvement by elements of the state, I am satisfied that they were not linked to an over-arching state conspiracy to murder Patrick Finucane.”
Finucane had been a high-profile lawyer in Northern Ireland during the height of ‘the troubles’, representing IRA members such as hunger striker Bobby Sands. The British intelligence services knew of several plans to kill him but never told him of any, the Irish Times reports.
His family have told the FT that they are unhappy with the scope of the report, and want a full public inquiry.