The HET Report – Part 4

het team

Are all victims treated equally?

justice
what part no
HET, as a matter of policy, treats deaths where there was state involvement differently from those cases where there is no state involvement.
selection2
There is a material difference in approach within the HET to cases with state involvement and cases without any state involvement
joking

Is this legal?
legal thinking

no6
HET‟s guidance in regard to cases with state involvement was adopted without any reference to what was, by then, established case law

Did HET seek advice?
ignorance
no1
no2
This substantial legal error was perpetuated by the fact that the HET did not seem to seek the views of others regarding the accuracy of its Operational Guide

But was the HET right or wrong?
legal
The HET‟s approach is entirely wrong
joking
Recommendation 14. The HET should: immediately withdraw paragraph
6.19 of its Operational Guide; draft a revised policy approach to state
involvement cases; seek the DPP for Northern Ireland agreement to it;
and then publish it to HET members and other interested parties.

What’s an interview under caution?
interview
It is part of an investigative process (as opposed to a review).
It puts the allegation to the suspect and elicits his or her side of the story. Only HET teams which deal with cases of state involvement carry out this procedure

What if a suspect said he was sick and couldn’t come for an interview?
illness
NO VERIFICATIONS. The HET does not always seek verification where a potential interviewee in a state involvement case claims to be unfit for interview due to illness

What’s HET’s “pragmatic approach‟?
pragmatism
Where suspects would have been interviewed under caution in the normal course of events, a member of the HET could decide to dispense with the caution so that they could obtain as much information as possible about the death for the benefit of the family So NO caution in some state involvement interviews
Recommendation 16. The HET should dispense with what it has termed
as the ‘pragmatic approach’ and stop conducting interviews under caution.
Did the Chief Constable of the PSNI agree to this?
no4
In 2010 he said the HET was to focus solely on reviews
What did the HET do?
Disobeyed
disobedience
HET disobeyed and broke the law. .
sod this
They referred all non-state involvement cases that required investigation to the PSNI. They continued to conduct interviews under caution in state involvement cases, dispensing with the caution in some
How many cases are we talking about?
numbers
Since 2010 the HET has referred 39 legacy cases involving 119 victims to the PSNI for further investigation. Of these 39 cases, not one is a state involvement case
Recommendation 15. The Chief Constable should enforce his decision
that any case which requires investigation should be referred to the PSNI C2. The Chief Constable should also introduce systems to provide himself with an assurance that this policy is applied in all cases.

Are there any other problems with HET?
stop believing
There’s the issue of pre-interview disclosure

What’s that?
documents
It’s the amount of material that the HET provides to a former soldier or his legal representative before an interview under caution – which the HET shouldn’t be doing anyway The suspect in state involvement cases would get full disclosure of material whereas a paramilitary suspect would get very little

Why?
disclosure
The HET stated that, unlike non-state actors, soldiers involved in a shooting had co-operated with investigators at the time and had provided their identities and produced their weapons for inspection – two things which non-state actors did not do.
Recommendation 17. The HET and PSNI should review the MoU between them to clarify the point at which cases should be referred to PSNI C2 for investigation and to address any anomalies and
inconsistency between the handling of state and non-state cases.
Recommendation 18. The Chief Constable should introduce systems
and processes to satisfy himself that the HET operates in a consistent
way in respect of all the cases that it reviews.
Recommendation 19. The HET should hold monthly meetings with the
PPS to discuss cases and contentious legal issues.

To be continued

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3 thoughts on “The HET Report – Part 4

  1. Pingback: Chickens home to roost | the mirror@wordpress.com

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