Abysmal investigation into sectarian killing – Gerry Kelly
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said a sectarian killing was not properly investigated because either the State was protecting informers, there was collusion or because of sectarianism within the PSNI.
The North Belfast MLA was speaking after attending the launch of the findings by a community inquiry into the sectarian killing of Gerard Lawlor in North Belfast in 2002.
The Sinn Féin Policing Spokesperson said:
“The parents of Gerard Lawlor are still grieving ten years on after the death of their 19-year-old son. Yet they still have not seen a proper investigation into their son’s killing.
“This community inquiry was carried out by respected human rights experts, jurists and academics and is a damning indictment of the State and the PSNI’s attitude to the sectarian killing and four other attempted killings of innocent Catholics in July 2002.
“It was clear from the findings of this inquiry that Gerard Lawlor’s killing was not properly investigated by the PSNI. In fact the investigation was abysmal to say the least. The question being asked is: was it to protect informants, because there was collusion or because of sectarianism within the PSNI.
“Almost immediately after the killing the PSNI had information on known suspects and yet they did not question those suspects. In the follow up to the murder there is a multitude of questionable inaction including:
An eyewitness who phoned police and no action was taken,
Two suspects identified and not questioned,
Four attempted murders of Catholics in the area in the preceding hours were not investigated or connected to the killing even though the evidence pointed to a concerted attack on the Catholic community.
“The authors of the report are presenting a number of recommendations to the PSNI, the Police Ombudsman and the Coroner on further actions which State Agencies need to take under Article 2 obligations.
“I will be bringing the findings of this inquiry to the Policing Board. Even at this late stage there is an imperative to hold a proper investigation into Gerard Lawlor’s killing. His family deserve that much.”