A retired RUC officer has claimed that police in the North failed to catch those responsible for the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane because of a cover up by RUC Special Branch.
Alan Simpson, who was involved in the murder investigation, said Special Branch never told the regular police that the man who supplied the murder weapon was one of their double agents.
Mr Simpson said he is confident he could have brought Mr Finucane’s killers to justice if that information was forthcoming.
“I had a team of excellent detectives moving about north Belfast trying to pick up leads when other policemen already had leads we could have used,” he said.
Mr Simpson’s comments will add further fuel to widely held beliefs that the RUC – and possibly other elements of the British security services – colluded with Mr Finucane’s killers and concealed vital evidence relating to the 1989 murder.
It has already been established that William Stobie, a UDA member and RUC informer, supplied the gun used to kill the prominent solicitor.
Stobie was shot dead by the UDA last December, a month after he walked free from court after a charge of murdering Mr Finucane collapsed.
The UDA man had apparently told reporters that he warned the RUC in advance of the plans to murder Mr Finucane, but no action was taken.
He also said he told his RUC handlers where the murder weapon was dumped, but again, no action was taken.