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Ombudsman asked to undertake specific investigations after Anderson files revelations

18 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty and Castlederg Councillor Charlie McHugh today met with the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan in Belfast to discuss the fallout from a recent UTV investigation into the murder of Arlene Arkinson in which former RUC Special Branchman Eric Anderson admitted to stealing files in order to frustrate Ms O'Loan's office.

Mr Doherty said:

" The recent UTV programme examining the murder of Arlene Arkinson and the admission by former Special Branchman Eric Anderson that he stole files in order to frustrate the work of the Police Ombudsman raised a number of very serious matters. In addition to the Arkinson case Eric Anderson was in charge of investigating a number of high profile cases involving collusion. Included in these is the murder of Roseanne Mallon in County Tyrone.

" We asked the Police Ombudsman today to carry out a number of specific investigations in the wake of the UTV programme.

Specifically in relation to the Arlene Arkinson investigation we asked the Ombudsman to investigate a widespread local belief that Robert Howard, the man believed to have killed Arlene, was a Special Branch Agent and this is why he was not jailed long before the murder. An investigation and audit of all Special Branch files to establish how many have been removed and by how many former Special Branch members. An investigation into the role of Eric Anderson's role in a number of high profile collusion cases.

" The old guard of the RUC have been attempting in recent years to frustrate both political and policing change. It is our belief that the Eric Anderson revelations are the tip of the iceberg. The British government need to demonstrate a willingness to tackle head on the securocrats within their system who have sought to undermine the peace process.

" I have sought an urgent meeting with the British Security Minister Shaun Woodward to discuss the implications of this case for the wider process. I have also written to the Criminal Justice Services Inspectorate asking them to examine the role of the DPP in this case and to the British Attorney General on the conduct of the case and the judgement reached. Sinn Féin will not be letting these crucial matter drop." ENDS

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