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14th-Nov-2015 04:00 am - 'Nelson files' link British authorities to UDA death squads
Jim McDowell
Irish Independent
14 Nov 2015



Shock revelations about British army collusion with loyalist paramilitary death squads are set to rock the political institutions in Dublin and London.

The fresh information is understood to focus on personal and highly incriminating files compiled by Brian Nelson.

Brian Nelson

He was recruited by British Military Intelligence (BMI) to infiltrate the outlawed Ulster Defence Association at its network of headquarters in Belfast.

A major story in the 'Sunday World' will link both the British military and the political establishment in London to UDA death squads headed up by now-deceased loyalist paramilitary godfathers, like 'brigadiers' John McMichael and Tommy 'Tucker' Lyttle, plus a battery of other UDA so-called brigadiers who are still alive.

Nelson, who died from cancer in 2003, kept a concise and meticulous handwritten journal, running to 120 pages, of his role as a British army/UDA double agent during the darkest days of the so-called 'Dirty War' in Northern Ireland.

Those files reveal how he twice set up TD Gerry Adams for murder, as well as the now Stormont deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, among some 50 others.

Thatcher

And Nelson writes that one of his BMI-sanctioned undercover operations, a botched UDA plot to smuggle arms and rockets from South Africa, went "right to the top".

Margaret Thatcher, who the Provos tried to murder in their Brighton hotel bombing in 1984, was Britain's prime minister at the time.

Nelson also said that his spymaster British army 'Boss' told him to bomb the Republic.

That was a full 13 years after the other main loyalist terror gang, the UVF, had bombed Dublin and Monaghan, killing 33 innocent people and leaving more than 200 injured.

In 1974, Nelson was jailed for the torture of an innocent Catholic man, Gerald Higgins, who subsequently died.

Released from jail after serving less than half of his seven-year sentence, Nelson tried to start a new life in West Germany.

But he was approached by the BMI and placed back in Belfast as a paid 'supertout' to re-join the UDA.

Using his previous British military background (he had served in the Black Watch regiment), Nelson flew up the ranks of the killer terror gang, which was responsible for over 300 murders during the nadir of the Troubles, many of them solely sectarian attacks on Catholics.

Nelson became the UDA's chief 'IO', or intelligence officer. He received montages and lists of IRA suspects, giving their personal details, from his BMI handlers.

And he personally scouted out targets for assassination - at the same time reporting back to, and colluding with, British intelligence service agents.

11th-May-2015 07:06 pm - Cameron refusal on Finucane probe ‘indefensible’
News Letter
11 May 2015



Pat Finucane was murdered by the UDA in 1989

The Prime Minister’s refusal to hold a public inquiry in to the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane was morally and legally indefensible, a court has been told.

A barrister representing Mr Finucane’s wife Geraldine alleged David Cameron rejected an inquiry into claims of state collusion with the loyalist paramilitary killers over fears of criticism from elements of the Conservative Party and the right-wing press in the UK.

Belfast High Court is hearing a judicial review by Mrs Finucane of the decision by Mr Cameron to rule out an inquiry into the 1989 UDA shooting in the city.

Opening the case before judge Mr Justice Stephens, Barry MacDonald QC said the murder was one of the “most notorious” of the Troubles.

“It is notorious for good reason,” he added. “The available evidence suggests that agents of the state responsible for law enforcement devised and operated a policy of extra-judicial execution, the essential feature of which was that loyalist terrorist organisations were infiltrated, resourced and manipulated in order to murder individuals identified by the state and their agents as suitable for assassination.

“In other words ‘murder by proxy’ whereby the state itself engaged in terrorism through the agency of loyalist paramilitaries.”

The barrister added: “The decision not to hold one (an inquiry) is indefensible both morally and legally.”

The solicitor’s family has long campaigned for a full independent public inquiry into the murder, but Mr Cameron has insisted such an exercise would not shed any more light on the events.

A Government-commissioned review of the controversial murder published by Sir Desmond de Silva detailed shocking levels of state involvement.

That included spreading malicious propaganda that Mr Finucane was sympathetic to the IRA; one or possibly more police officers proposing him as a target to loyalists; and the mishandling of state agents inside the UDA who were involved in the murder.

While Sir Desmond found no evidence of an overarching conspiracy by the authorities to target the 38-year-old lawyer, he said the actions of a number of state employees had “furthered and facilitated’’ the UDA shooting while there had also been efforts to thwart the subsequent criminal investigation.

As he accepted the report’s findings in the House of Commons in December 2012, Mr Cameron reiterated an apology to the Finucane family and also pledged that the Government would examine the review in detail to identify potential lessons.

Mr Finucane was gunned down in front of his wife Geraldine and their three children inside their north Belfast home in February 1989.

Mr MacDonald outlined details of the various collusion investigations that examined the Finucane murder in the years following the shooting.

He referred to Government papers that acknowledged the police and army engaged in an “active and significant obstruction” of an investigation carried out by former Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner Sir John Stevens.

The barrister also revealed that as well as three investigations carried out by Sir John, the Government conducted its own confidential assessment of the collusion claims in 1999 – a never-published document entitled the Langdon report.

The existence of the report emerged only during the legal discovery process ahead of the judicial review.

Mr MacDonald said all the various investigations detailed evidence that warranted examination in a public inquiry.

The barrister then focused on a commitment made by the UK Government at Weston Park in 2001 during peace process negotiations with the Irish government.

The Weston Park talks resulted in Canadian judge Peter Cory being asked to examine the grounds for public inquiry in a number of controversial Troubles deaths.

The Government said such inquiries would be implemented if the judge recommended that course of action.

Judge Cory subsequently did recommend public inquiries for a number of killings, including Mr Finucane’s.

But while the Government ordered inquiries into the other deaths, it has not given the green light for one in the Finucane case.

Mr Finucane’s son John and daughter Katherine were in court for Monday’s hearing, as was the murdered solicitor’s brother Seamus.

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