David Cameron apologised today as a Government-commissioned report found state employees actively facilitated the loyalist murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
However, Sir Desmond de Silva's review of the 1989 murder of the Catholic father of three found there was no over-arching conspiracy.
The report found that successive UK Governments failed to implement an appropriate legal framework for running agents within paramilitary groups, but it added that no minister was aware of the plot to kill the solicitor.
David Cameron said the murder was "an appalling crime" and said the degree of collusion exposed was "unacceptable".
Among the key findings of the report were:
- The Army and Special Branch had advance notice of a series of planned UDA assassinations, but nothing was done
- De Silva found that employees of the state and stage agents played "key roles" in the Finucane murder
- The Army "must take a degree of responsibility" for targeting activities carried out by the UDA's Brian Nelson
- "Relentless" effort to defeat the ends of justice after Mr Finucane's killing and found that Army officials provided the MoD with highly misleading and inaccurate information
- Review found no evidence that any Govt was informed in advance of Mr Finucane's murder or knew about the subsequent cover-up
- In 1985 85% of the UDA's intelligence originated with sources within the security forces
The widow of Pat Finucane, Geraldine, dismissed the report as "a sham... a whitewash... a confidence trick", saying: "This report is not the truth."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said there should be a full public inquiry into the murder after today's report made "disturbing and uncomfortable" reading. He said failing to hold such an inquiry was "at odds" with the peace process, adding that the De Silva investigation had its limits.