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Families are entitled to have police killings investigated – Kelly

25 November, 2011 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly, spokesperson on Policing and a member of the Policing Board, has echoed the concerns of bereaved families about the inability of the Police Ombudsman to investigate up to 50 killings by the RUC.

“This adds insult to injury and is a further injustice to the families. The Police Ombudsman must have known about this before the court hearing in May. Either they were sleeping through it or they decided not to act upon it.

“Families who have loved ones killed have the right to an effective, independent and prompt investigation under law. This appears to be a legislative anomaly.

“If that is the case then it needs to be fixed in legislation. I will be seeking clarity from the Minister for Justice because he is responsible for the powers vested in this Office.”

Mr Kelly said Sinn Féin will be proactive in pursuing this:

“This is another blow to the leadership of this Police Ombudsman. It underlines why he must leave. The independence and effectiveness of the Office must be restored.

“That means that the Office must be given the freedom and resources to use its existing powers and be given the additional powers the Office requires to do its job successfully. This includes the power to compel retired police officers to co-operate with investigations by the Police Ombudsman.”

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