Ulster Unionist Policing Spokesperson, Alan Chambers MLA, has said that the Police Ombudsman should resign in the wake of a High Court ruling that a finding of police collusion in a report into the Loughinisland massacre was beyond the Police Ombudsman's legal powers and was 'unsustainable in law.'
Alan Chambers said:
“Today’s High Court ruling regarding the Police Ombudsman’s report in to Loughinisland is a devastating blow to the credibility of that office to the extent that I believe that the Police Ombudsman’s position is now untenable, and he should resign.
“The Loughinisland massacre in June 1994 was one of the most chilling and shocking crimes of the Troubles when six innocent men were gunned down by the UVF purely because they were Catholics.
“Last year the Police Ombudsman found that there was collusion between the RUC and the terrorists. This was a massive statement to make and caused a great deal of controversy at the time.
“Today a High Court Judge has ruled that this ruling of police collusion was beyond the Police Ombudsman's legal powers and was 'unsustainable in law.'
“Mr Justice McCloskey also said authors of the Loughinisland report were ‘careless, thoughtless and inattentive in the language and structuring of the document’ and that the police officers deemed to have colluded with the gunmen were ‘in effect tried and convicted without notice in their absence.’ Some people seem to ignore the fact that the Police – serving and retired - are entitled to justice and fairness too.
“Allegations of collusion have been used to smear the reputation of the RUC and question the credibility of the justice system in Northern Ireland. For the Police Ombudsman’s Office to be the source of a report that has been so comprehensively rejected by the High Court should be a matter of huge embarrassment for the Ombudsman, and he should do the right thing and go now.”