Police in the North are to comply with a court order to hand over top secret reports on an alleged officer shoot-to-kill policy during the Troubles, a senior commander revealed today.
While the PSNI is still seeking clarification on how much of the controversial Stalker and Sampson documents must be disclosed, Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said the service would not go against the direction of the region’s senior coroner John Leckey.
In September Mr Leckey gave new Chief Constable Matt Baggott until next Monday - November 9 – to release the never published reports to the Coroner’s Court to assist his probe into the Royal Ulster Constabulary killings of six men in late 1982.
He issued the deadline in the face of long-standing police refusal to hand them to the courts.
Mr Harris today told the PSNI’s oversight body – the NI Policing Board – that the service would not ignore its responsibility to the inquests.
The alleged shoot-to-kill operations were carried out in the Co Armagh area in the weeks following the murders of three RUC officers in an IRA landmine.
They refer to three separate incidents: The shooting dead of IRA men Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman and John Burns in Lurgan on November 11, 1982; the shooting of Catholic teenager Michael Tighe near Craigavon on November 24, 1982 and the killings of INLA suspects Seamus Grew and Roddy Carroll near Armagh city on December 12, 1982
The investigation into whether the police set out to kill was conducted by former Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable John Stalker and Colin Sampson of the West Yorkshire Police.