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Refusal to disclose information to Inquests highlight culture of concealment in today's PSNI

16 March, 2004


Sinn Fein Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew MLA has said 'the continuing refusal of the PSNI to disclose vital information to inquest hearings is symptomatic of a culture of concealment which infects the entire British system'.

Ms Gildernew said:

"This latest refusal by the PSNI to disclose vital information to inquest hearings is unacceptable. The families who have demanded disclosure are entitled to the truth about the killings of their loved ones.

"It is ironic that at this moment Hugh Orde, the Chief Constable of the PSNI, is in the United States promoting the lie that the PSNI today is different from the RUC .

"When Mr Orde says that the PSNI should be judged on their actions he should remember the simple truth that for the past 10 years, first the RUC and then the PSNI, including the PSNI under his control, have refused to give vital evidence to the inquest hearings into the murder of 10 people in Tyrone. No one will be fooled by Hugh Orde's dishonest claims that things are different now. His assertions are an insult to the families who have fought for many years to have the truth about these killings revealed.

"The continuing refusal to reveal relevant information to these inquests is symptomatic of a culture of concealment which infects the entire British system. It amounts to a state sponsored cover up. Hugh Orde should explain why he is withholding information from these families rather than telling lies in the United States.

"The refusal to provide information to these inquests is not an isolated case. It must be seen in the context of the British government's refusal to co-operate with the Barron Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the obstruction of the Saville Inquiry at all levels of the British system and the on-going attempts to cover-up the extent of British collusion and control of loyalist death squads.

"Sinn Féin will continue to stand with those families who continue to campaign for the truth. There must be full disclosure by the British state of its real role in Ireland over the last three decades of conflict." ENDS

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