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Concern expressed at MI5 interference in Nelson inquiry

21 September, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd said today that he shared the grave concerns being expressed by the family of Rosemary Nelson at the very direct involvement of MI5 in the operation of the inquiry into her murder.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Rosemary Nelson was a highly respected human rights lawyer ,murdered by unionist paramilitaries after receiving numerous death threats from members of the RUC. There is a widely held belief that British State agents were directly involved in her murder. This belief has been strengthened over the years as successive RUC and PSNI regimes have sought to frustrate and delay the search for the truth.

"Yesterday it emerged that MI5 have sought and been granted full legal representation at the inquiry into Rosemary Nelson‚s murder. I share the grave concerns being expressed by the Nelson family at this turn of events.

"Given the history of MI5 involvement in Ireland and the fact that they are a by-word for secrecy and concealment there is a justifiable fear that their role within the Nelson inquiry will be to view material and then attempt to prevent it from either being made public or entering the inquiry at all." ENDS

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