Delays to legacy inquests must end - Dillon
Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has said there needs to be an end now to inefficient and risk averse practices that lead to lengthy delays in disclosure to legacy inquests.
Speaking after a report by Criminal Justice Inspection, Ms Dillon said;
"This report from the Criminal Justice Inspection highlights the role of the PSNI and other agencies in delaying and complicating the release of information to legacy inquests.
“The report makes clear that ‘the processes leading to disclosure are unwieldy and trust among the various parties is in short supply’ and also that ‘delay was commonplace, occurred across the whole spectrum of stakeholders involved, and was sometimes protracted’.
"This is what Sinn Féin has been saying all along. It is ridiculous, for example, that information is being classed as confidential and sensitive despite the fact that it is already in the public domain.
“The number of different layers involved in deciding to blank out certain parts of documents is also something that needs urgent attention. Not to mention the crazy situation that where six documents contain the same piece of information each of the six documents undergo that complicated process.
“The report also makes clear that deadlines were often missed with no explanation provided by those responsible and that there was no sanction available.
“Is it any wonder that families have been left waiting again and again while legacy inquests are delayed for the umpteenth time? This has to stop.
“The report outlines seven key recommendations all of which should be implemented expeditiously.
“The British government also needs to ensure that their Ministry of Defence change the practices that also lead to considerable delays.”