Finucane action could reveal military intelligence details

THE WIDOW of murdered Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane is proceeding with a legal action which could reveal further details of British military intelligence involvement in Northern Ireland.

The case will be closely watched by the NI Law Society, human rights groups and Belfast solicitors concerned by the killing.

The action is at the exchange of pleadings stage. No date is fixed for Belfast High Court.

It is understood to be a claim for damages against the Ministry of Defence and Brian Nelson, an agent for military intelligence operating in the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) at the time of Finucane's death.

The action is understood to allege negligence by security forces on the basis that they knew Finucane was on a UFF hit list, but failed to warn him. Nelson is understood to have had access to the list.

The MoD says Crown solicitors in Belfast are acting on its behalf. A spokesman says: “Because the case is not yet to be heard we are not in a position to discuss it.” (See news analysis on page 7.)