The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesperson Doug Beattie MC MLA has welcomed the DUP’s U-turn at its Manifesto launch, where Arlene Foster stated that the party would not support any Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) having the power to investigate non-criminal police misconduct, but called on the DUP to go further and repudiate the HIU in its entirety.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“Finally the penny has dropped with the DUP and they have decided they will not support the element of the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) relating to non-criminal police misconduct. They did so under pressure from the Ulster Unionist Party and they did so because the people were angry with their stance and this is how they think they can secure votes. But it is not enough.
“The HIU incorporates a litany of proposals that the DUP should also now reject immediately, not least the issue surrounding the treatment of the injured from all corners of our community. Those who lost limbs, were paralysed, left burned, blinded and psychologically damaged by a savage terrorist campaign will still not get an investigation – the reason? - because they did not die but survived instead. This is not right and will never be right.
“If the DUP continue their support for the HIU that will also mean they endorse the situation whereby if you were kidnapped in Northern Ireland, tortured and taken across the border to the Irish Republic and murdered, your case will not get a HIU investigation. This means that the likes of Captain Robert Nairac GC and Corporal Jim Elliott will not get an investigation as part of the HIU process which the DUP agreed to. Neither will those murdered in Birmingham, London, Manchester, Warrington, Germany or Holland, because the HIU proposal is geographically fixed.
“At the moment only 1,700 cases will form the workload of the HIU. Of these, every killing by the state security forces will be reinvestigated in chronological order while hundreds of murders by terrorists will not. Those who received a Historical Enquiries Team (HET) desktop report will not get an investigation even though the HET was widely discredited. This whole process is unfair and unbalanced and it will not help victims and survivors.
“Lastly and most importantly, the UK government has agreed that it will provide all information to the HIU for investigation so we can get the whole picture. Only when it goes to a family report will information be redacted. The Irish Government on the other hand, will redact before investigation, ensuring that the truth will never be fully known. This unfairness and inequality was never starker than was revealed only yesterday, when Simon Coveney met the Sproule family over evidence surrounding the death of Ian Sproule in 1991, where collusion between the IRA and Garda is alleged. Although over 100 Gardai officers were interviewed in regards to this matter, Simon Coveney told the family that the report on these allegations will not be released.
“It is time the DUP realised there is no soft landing on this issue. Having finally woken up to the injustice inherent in the charge of non-criminal police misconduct, they must go further and withdraw support for the HIU now, and tell the electorate that any DUP MPs will go to Westminster and vote against the HIU in its entirety.”