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McGuinness - Ombudsman Report is a damning indictment

19 January, 2004

Commenting on the Police Ombudsman Investigation into the murder of Sean Brown Sinn Féin Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness said that the report was 'a damning indictment of collusion and cover-up'. He went on to question the current role of former RUC Chief Ronnie Flanagan as a Policing Inspector given the content of today's report.

Mr McGuinness said:

"I have always held the belief that the murder of Sean Brown ten days after the 1997 Westminster election was a direct response by the unionist paramilitaries to the DUP MP Willie McCrea losing his seat.

"Today's report by the Police Ombudsman is a damning indictment of the policy of collusion and cover up. Files missing from a number of barracks, no effort to apprehend the killers, the family treated with contempt and the former RUC and PSNI Chief Ronnie Flanagan ignoring a request from the Coroner John Leckey for an outside investigation.

"It is my belief that serious questions remain over the current position of Ronnie Flanagan as a policing inspector given the detail contained in this report and other similar probes. There is also now an onus on the current PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde to state publicly if the individuals involved in the original investigation are still members of his force and to explain how files went missing from barracks where only his officers had access to them.

"I would like to pay tribute to Sean Brown's family who have refused to accept the lies and the half truths. They demanded to know the truth and they have pursued this matter relentlessly over the past six years.

"It is my hope that this Report can act as a catalyst to allow the family of Sean Brown to finally discover the truth around his murder." ENDS

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