UVF COL­LU­SION FILES MUST BE MADE PUB­LIC

Mur­der bids pay­out cleared by court

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY ALAN ER­WIN ir­ish@mgn.co.uk

PO­LICE files must be dis­closed in a le­gal ac­tion over al­leged col­lu­sion with a loy­al­ist para­mil­i­tary agent sus­pected of up to 15 mur­ders, a court has ruled.

Se­nior judges also cleared the way for a sub­stan­tial pay­out to a North Belfast man who sued af­ter sur­viv­ing two UVF at­tempts on his life. Con­firm­ing the level of dam­ages achiev­able by John Flynn will not be bound by English cases, Mrs Jus­tice Kee­gan said: “We find it hard to con­tem­plate a more grave sub­ject mat­ter.” Mr Flynn’s lawyers de­scribed the Court of Ap­peal ver­dict as a huge devel­op­ment in legacy lit­i­ga­tion. The 57-year-old is­sued pro­ceed­ings against the PSNI over mur­der bids al­legedly car­ried out by an agent who op­er­ated in the city’s Mount Ver­non area. In 1992 a gun­man tried to shoot him af­ter he was lured to White­abbey Hos­pi­tal on the out­skirts of the city. Five years later a se­cond at­tempt was made to kill him in a car bomb at­tack. Mr Flynn brought a law­suit against the Chief Con­sta­ble for al­leged neg­li­gence and mis­fea­sance in pub­lic of­fice. In 2014 the PSNI ad­mit­ted his mis­fea­sance claim and ac­cepted he should be paid dam­ages. But the force em­phat­i­cally de­nies neg­li­gence or hav­ing ever em­ployed the covert hu­man in­tel­li­gence source – iden­ti­fied only in the case as “In­for­mant 1”. The agent is sus­pected of in­volve­ment in 10 to 15 mur­ders, pun­ish­ment shoot­ings, se­ri­ous beat­ings, con­spir­acy to mur­der, rob­bery, hi­jack­ings and drug deal­ing. As part of the case Mr Flynn’s lawyers are con­tin­u­ing to seek ac­cess to PSNI doc­u­ments. They ar­gued the po­lice ad­mis­sion of par­tial li­a­bil­ity was a tac­ti­cal move to avoid hand­ing over all files on the in­for­mant and cover over the full ex­tent of al­leged col­lu­sion. Last year a High Court judge or­dered the han­dover of 13 cat­e­gories of po­lice doc­u­ments. Coun­sel for the Chief Con­sta­ble ap­pealed, in­sist­ing it was an un­nec­es­sary step when Mr Flynn has ef­fec­tively won the case. But dis­miss­ing the ap­peal, Mrs Jus­tice Kee­gan, sit­ting with Lord Jus­tice Gillen, stressed the sig­nif­i­cant con­text of the ac­tion. She said: “This case re­lates to al­leged ac­tiv­i­ties of in­form­ers act­ing within the struc­ture of the State which re­sulted in sig­nif­i­cant harm to per­sons such as the plain­tiff.”

We find it hard to con­tem­plate a more grave sub­ject mat­ter MRS JUS­TICE KEE­GAN AP­PEAL COURT YES­TER­DAY

John Flynn LAW­SUIT

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