The family of a Lurgan republican shot dead by loyalists while he was under security force surveillance are to sue the PSNI and the MoD.
Sam Marshall (31) was killed seconds after leaving Lurgan RUC station in March 1990.
At a preliminary hearing of an inquest into his death, a lawyer for Lurgan republican Colin Duffy claimed he was an innocent victim of a loyalist ambush. He was with Mr Marshall as he was gunned down.
Eight undercover soldiers were deployed nearby at the time of the killing, but an independent investigation found no evidence of state collusion.
Peter Corrigan, solicitor for Mr Duffy and Tony McCaughey, who was also with Mr Marshall, told the coroner’s court on Tuesday his clients should have access to documents disclosed by the security forces.
“The state, we would say, is playing an active part in colluding to murder them in the same incident, 50 shots. They are not witnesses, they are victims, innocent victims.”
An investigation by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) found no evidence of collusion with the UVF gunmen and said police officers or soldiers had no prior knowledge of the attack. It said undercover soldiers were deployed near the scene while their commander monitored events from a remote location.
Mr Corrigan argued that his clients should be accorded full legal standing during the inquest and given access to documents. He said they were the subjects of attempted murder bids and this was relevant to the inquest’s deliberations on whether security forces colluded in Mr Marshall’s murder. “They were part of the issues in relation to the surveillance when the matters took place, they were shot at themselves,” he added.
Non-sensitive material is due to be disclosed to coroner Suzanne Anderson’s office within weeks but barrister for the Ministry of Defence and Police Service of Northern Ireland Mark Robinson said he would be contesting any application to give the other two men full status and their lawyers access to papers.
Mr Marshall’s sister Linda Hewitt has issued a writ against both Chief Constable Matt Baggott and the MoD.
Her solicitor Kevin Winters said Mr Marshall’s family are ‘alleging collusion on the part of the police and army along with loyalist terrorists’.