Maskey comments on HET reports
Commenting on reports that the PSNI Chef Constable Matt Baggott is proposing that the HET should complete its work within three years, Sinn Féin Policing Board member Alex Maskey said that ‘any proposal to wind up the HET needs to be done in a way that reassures those families who wish to use this mechanism that their particular cases will be properly dealt with first’.
Mr Maskey said:
“When the HET was first formed we voiced concerns about its ability to get to the core of the issue around collusion. The evidence of the intervening years would appear to back those concerns up. Like other efforts in the past it seems that those at the top of the chain, the handlers and their superiors have been exempt from investigation.
However some families who have gone down the route of the HET have got some comfort others have not. The decision of the PSNI to take the investigation into the Mount Vernon UVF back under its control and away from the HET has in some peoples eyes undermined the operational integrity of the unit.
The reality is the important people here are the families who are seeking the truth. Political squabbling at the Policing Board is not what they want. While the HET has delivered for some families to date it has failed in many other cases. Alone it was never intended to be the mechanism to deal with the past and should not be judged against that benchmark.
If political parties are serious about the issue of dealing with the past and delivering for families then let us have that debate. Sinn Féin are the only party to publish any detailed proposals in this area. We were only party to publicly and comprehensively respond to Eames/Bradley.
If Matt Baggott is setting out a timeframe to wind up the HET then it needs to be done in a way that reassures those families who wish to use this mechanism that their particular cases will be properly dealt with first.” ENDS