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New PSNI legacy unit will not have public confidence - Sheehan

4 December, 2014 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin MLA and Policing Board member Pat Sheehan has said a proposed new PSNI unit to investigate legacy issues will not have public confidence. 

Speaking after the PSNI chief constable announced the establishment of a new body to investigate the past, the West Belfast MLA said; 

"At today's meeting of the Policing Board the Chief Constable announced the HET would cease to exist on December 31 and will be replaced by an Legacy Investigation Unit early in the New Year. 

"We are very disappointed by this announcement as it is clear this new body will not be compliant with human rights legislation, particularly Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to life. 

"In all our engagements with victims’ groups they told us that whatever replaces the HET must be Article 2 compliant. 

“Victims' groups have made it clear that the independence of any investigatory mechanism is crucial to dealing with the past and we share those concerns. 

"Public confidence is a key element in dealing with the past and this proposed new body cannot command that confidence. 

"The PSNI has a responsibility to investigate the past but their responsibility to comply with Article 2 legislation is a key requirement. 

"Legacy issues are toxic for policing. It is is our view they should be separate from polling and handed over to a body similar to that suggested in the Haass proposals." 

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