May 18, 2006

House urges probe of Irish lawyer’s murder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives
called on Britain on Thursday to comply with an agreement with
Ireland and start a full investigation of the 1989 murder of
Northern Ireland attorney Pat Finucane.

The House voted 390-31 for a resolution urging Britain to
establish a full "independent public judicial" inquiry into the
murder of Finucane, a human rights attorney gunned down in his
home in Belfast in front of his wife and three children.

Some human rights groups have connected loyalist
paramilitaries and British security forces with the murder as
part of Northern Ireland's 30-year sectarian conflict.

In 2001, the British and Irish governments jointly
appointed Peter Cory, a retired justice of Canada's Supreme
Court, to determine whether independent commissions should
investigate possible state-sponsored collusion in six murders,
including Finucane's.

Cory made his recommendation for an inquiry commission, but
the British government instead said it would conduct a more
limited probe of Finucane's slaying.

New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith, who sponsored the
measure, said he hoped "our combined efforts here and in the
Republic of Ireland will move the British government to finally
live up to their agreement ... and help secure public and
international confidence in the Northern Ireland peace