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Omagh investigation debacle: where's the police accountability?

Despite my earlier thoughts that Sir Ronnie Flanagan's days as head of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary could be numbered, now it looks like he can stay on as long as he likes, despite the Omagh bombing investigation debacle exposed in Justice Weir's ruling in December and the earlier fiindings of the Police Ombudsman.

For now the former Chief Constable has won the backing of no less a figure than the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the two officers accused by the judge of lying under oath in the failed court case have not been suspended from the PSNI. Or as Belfast Telegraph chief reporter Chris Thornton puts its, "two officers branded liars by a High Court judge still wear the PSNI's uniform every day." No need felt by Sir Hugh Orde to take any action then, it seems.

Looks like the present Chief Constable has been as bothered by the Omagh investigation disaster as the previous one. But could his reputation too end up being as damaged by its fall-out?

More to the point, will nobody in the police, past or present, bear responsibility for this disgraceful mess, which leaves bereaved families further bereft and justice more unlikely than ever?

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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