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MI5 destroyed evidence in Finucane murder inquiry, BBC documentary claims

BRITISH spooks wiped secret information from computers being held by an inquiry into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, according to a BBC documentary aired last night.

Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory, head of the 2002 inquiry, told the makers of the BBC NI’s Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History programme that he complained to police that the MI5 spy agency had destroyed key evidence and feared a major diplomatic row.

He discussed the matter with then commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir John Stevens but decided against pursuing the matter.

Mr Finucane’s family have long believed that British state collusion in his murder went right to the top. Mr Finucane’s widow Geraldine said she believes “the prime minister of the day [Margaret Thatcher] knew exactly what was going on.”

She added that Judge Cory had told her that he had seen papers marked “for Cabinet eyes only” and that they had concerned state collusion and the killing of her husband.

“There is something there that needs to be exposed,” Ms Finucane told the programme-makers.

Mr Finucane was shot dead by gunmen from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in front of his family at their north Belfast home in February 1989.

The loyalist paramilitaries were working in collusion with MI5, then prime minister David Cameron admitted  in 2011.

Despite this, and the recommendations of Judge Cory, there has been no public inquiry and no member of the intelligence services has been charged.

The BBC documentary claimed that MI5 wiped the files of the judge’s inquiry team after agents visited its offices in central London in 2002 “in the interests of national security.”

Mr Finucane’s family continue to campaign for a full public inquiry into his murder.

MI5 was contacted for comment but had not responded as the Star went to print.

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