No ‘effective investigation’ into Finucane murder

The Finucane family outside the Supreme Court in London. Credit: PA

The UK’s highest court has ruled that an effective investigation into the death of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has not been carried out.

Mr Finucane was shot dead in front of his family in February 1989 by loyalists, in an attack found to have involved collusion with the state.

The 39-year-old was shot 14 times while enjoying Sunday lunch at home with his family.

His widow Geraldine claimed the Government had unlawfully "reneged" on a promise to hold a public inquiry into the killing - one of the most notorious of the Troubles - when former prime minister David Cameron instead ordered an independent review.

Pat Finucane's murder was carried out by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989. Credit: PA

The Supreme Court in London ruled on Wednesday that there has been no "effective investigation" into Mr Finucane's murder, and that previous inquiries had not complied with the family's human rights.

But the court also found that, while Mrs Finucane had been given “an unequivocal undertaking” that there would be a public inquiry into the murder, the Government was justified in later deciding against holding one.

Speaking after the ruling, Mrs Finucane said: “This is a historic moment. I stand before you today outside the United Kingdom Supreme Court with one simple message - we won.”

She added: “The British Government now knows that it cannot conceal the truth any longer. They have now been told this by the highest court in the land.

“It is time for the murder of Pat Finucane to be properly and publicly investigated in a public inquiry. Nothing less will suffice.”

Mr Finucane’s son John said: “Today is a very significant victory along the road of our campaign for truth and justice.”

His brother Michael added: “This is no longer just a campaign of moral force. This is now a campaign that has the force of law.

“It is not an option for the Government to ignore our call for a public inquiry anymore. It should never have been an option, but it is one that they chose to push to its absolute limit.

“We have reached the limit.”