Crisis In Historical Enquiries Team Probe Of NI’s Past Shows Need For A Fresh Start And An End To Boston College Probe
Following the decision by the Policing Board of Northern Ireland to suspend all reviews by the HET of military cases and in light of the board’s expression of no confidence in the leadership of the HET on foot of a damning report by the British Inspectorate of Constabulary into the HET’s performance, we call upon the British authorities to immediately suspend the ongoing PSNI investigation resulting from the subpoenas served on Boston College.
We also urge both the US and British governments to immediately withdraw the subpoenas served against Boston College’s Belfast Archive.
It is clear from the HMIC report, from the rigorous investigations carried out by Dr Patricia Lundy, from our own examination of the HET’s record and from the response of public and politicians to this crisis that there is no confidence in the way the British authorities are dealing with the sensitive and all important issue of Northern Ireland’s troubled past.
The way the authorities have invested so much time and money pursuing the Boston archives is in stark contrast to the slipshod and half-hearted efforts that the HET has put into investigating state sponsored violence, especially killings carried out by the British Army. This, we believe, is symptomatic of the double standards that have infected the HET-based approach to dealing with the past.
We urge the British and Irish governments to suspend all criminal and non-criminal inquiries into the past until agreement has been reached by all parties on a credible way forward and a mechanism to deal with the past has been created in such a way that it commands widespread confidence and support.