Hooded Men team in challenge to Villiers

Some of the Hooded Men with Monsignor Raymond Murray Natasa Mavronicola, a law lecturer at Queen's University and Jim McIlmurray
Some of the Hooded Men with Monsignor Raymond Murray Natasa Mavronicola, a law lecturer at Queen's University and Jim McIlmurray

The Secretary of State has been accused of failing to furnish solicitors acting for The Hooded Men with all documents linked to the case.

The Hooded Men, including Lurgan man, the late Gerry McKerr were a group who claim they were tortured while interned in the early 1970s.

They are challenging the alleged failure of the police, the Secretary of State, and the justice minister to investigate allegations that they were tortured.

Case coordinator Jim McIlmurray has accused the Secretary of State Mrs Teresa Villiers of employing a delaying tactic. “While some documents have been handed over, many have been substantially redacted,” he claims. “She withheld information on briefings given to government ministers before the men were interrogated.”

He further claimed that, though letters have been sent to the Secretary of State requesting that the material be disclosed, she has failed to do so. “We were told by the judge he would see us back in court in four weeks. That was on the 6th of April. This is June and we still haven’t received one sheet of paper from Theresa Villiers let alone a file. It is now time the public be made aware of the hypocrisy of the British government when they speak of justice, human rights, transparency and openness.

“We want the British government compelled to establish an independent investigation.

“Our demand is for a statutory investigation into the use of torture by British security forces, including the RUC, during the period of internment and after and that this investigation must comply with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

The Secretary of State was asked for a response but none was forthcoming at the time of going to print.