Hooded Men will not accept PSNI investigation

Hooded Men case co-ordinator Jim McIlmurray has said a PSNI investigation into their case would not be acceptable
Connla Young

THE ‘Hooded Men' have said any PSNI involvement in the investigation of their case is “unacceptable”.

Case co-ordinator Jim McIlmurray last night called for an independent inquiry into the treatment of the 14 Catholic men at the hands of the RUC in 1971.

“We would not in any shape or form accept the PSNI coming to us and stating they would be prepared to investigate the case,” he said.

“The PSNI still have members of the RUC in their ranks - how would they be impartial?

“What we want is a full independent and impartial enquiry.”

Mr McIlmurray said the men would “prefer to have a panel of lay people” to look at the case.

“The police are there to uphold the law and enforce the law and the police failed the citizens they are deemed to protect, they failed to carry out an investigation,” he said.

A spokesman for the PSNI said yesterday: "We have received today's judgment and recognise this is a sensitive and difficult issue for all parties.

“We will now take time to consider the judgment in full.”

Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon welcomed the High Court judgment.

“The decision of the PSNI to prematurely end the investigation into the torture and hideous physical and mental abuse of these men was unacceptable and completely wrong," she said.

“We agree with the High Court in their decision that a new decision process must begin.

“This must happen immediately, followed by a fresh police investigation.”

Ms Dillon also said the “British government and its agencies must release all information it holds about the torture, human rights abuses and state killings it carried out during the course of the conflict”.

Amnesty International's Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan said it is “utterly unacceptable that, in 46 years, the UK authorities have never once conducted a proper investigation into the abuse and that no-one - not the people who carried out the abuse, nor the people who authorised it - has ever been held accountable before the law.”

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