‘Court Order a reminder that victims’ families won’t give up’
The High Court in Belfast has issued an Order against three suspected loyalists, holding them liable to pay damages for the unlawful killings of three young people in Craigavon in 1991.
A civil case had been taken by Patrick Frizzell, brother of Brian Frizzell, who was 29 when he and two girls, Eileen Duffy (19) and Katrina Rennie (16) were murdered at a mobile shop in Craigavon.
The Order has been entered against three men, Alan Oliver and Anthony McNeill from Portadown and Thomas Harper from Tandragee.
The claim against the Chief Constable of the PSNI, the Ministry of Defence and the Secretary of State for NI is continuing.
Oliver, McNeill and Harper failed to file appearances in the case and therefore judgement has been entered against them. Harper was convicted in relation to the triple murders in 1995 and given a life sentence.
Representing Patrick Frizzell, Kevin Winters, of KRW Law said: “This has been a fraught journey for these families to try and find justice.
“Getting this Order is a massive step forward for them. It is an Order entered against three suspects in a civil court for unlawful killing.
“We are serving the Orders this week and we will now ask the court to assess damages after the other part of the case is finished.
“That other part of the case is the ongoing action against the state.
“The more we see the state failing to criminally prosecute conflict-related murders, then the more we are likely to see court rulings like this.
“Orders of this nature do have precedents; for example, the Omagh bomb families took a case against the perpetrators; the family of Owen Morley who was murdered by the IRA in 1990, they took a case against the agent known as Kevin Fulton; also the Hyde Park bombing in London, one of the families of the deceased took a case against John Downey.
High Court orders like this won’t put anyone in jail but they are very important in shining the spotlight on those believed to have been unlawfully involved in atrocities, especially where there are allegations of state collusion.
“It is a reminder to the state that families won’t give up. Getting an Order like this is a timely reminder to the authorities that they haven’t necessarily done their job in pursuing the killers.
“Any attempts at amnesties to try and finish investigations of the past won’t stop legal action. Government amnesties will not and can not shut the doors of the courts on cases like this.”
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