Nelson inquiry - Case must be re-opened

THE report of the inquiry into the murder of Rosemary Nelson in 1999 raises more questions than it answers.

Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan — who had already investigated allegations of police collusion in the murder — concluded that the actions of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were inadequate, and that the force had disregarded Ms Nelson’s health and safety.

Canadian Judge Peter Cory had found sufficient “evidence of collusion by government agencies” to warrant the public inquiry that reported yesterday.

The inquiry acknowledged the possibility that a rogue member of the security forces was involved in the murder, but it found no evidence of collusion by state agencies. Nevertheless it concluded that the RUC failed to take measures to protect Ms Nelson.

British Secretary of State Owen Patterson stated that his government was “profoundly sorry” for those failures. In many ways the report is most unsatisfactory, but there are times when such an inquiry cannot come up with definitive answers.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland should, however, re-open the case and make a determined effort to prosecute the misconduct prior to the murder.

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