The judge hearing a legal challenge into the Police Ombudsman’s report of the Loughinisland massacre must withdraw from the case to ensure there is no perception of bias, Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said.
The South Down MP was speaking after the police ombudsman and families of the victims lodged submissions asking the judge to step aside because he had previously represented one of the officers in a different case.
“Justice must be impartial and seen to be impartial and where there is a doubt there is an onus on the court to take appropriate steps to rectify that,” Chris Hazzard commented.
“Given what we now know, that this judge previously represented one of the former RUC men involved in this case, it is only right that he should step aside.
“The judge has delayed the case for a week to consider the intervention but we are clear that, the only way a perception of bias can be avoided, is if he steps aside in line with legal precedent and established judicial practice.”