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Admission over military intelligence for inquests.

MILITARY intelligence was not referred to legacy inquests by police because of an oversight, a presiding coroner said.

The PSNI has held a database containing MoD information since 2007.

However, a statement from the Coroners Service said the force's disclosure unit was "not aware" of this so did not routinely search the database when compiling disclosure of material for the coroner.

Presiding coroner Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan added: "The chief constable, on becoming aware of this issue, directed in December 2017 that PSNI will now also routinely search the MoD military intelligence database which it holds to ensure full disclosure of any material held to the coroner."

She said as part of pre-inquest proceedings the PSNI did check its own database and also one shared with the MoD and this material was provided to coroners.

The presiding coroner intends to develop a disclosure protocol and will issue a consultation draft in the coming weeks.

The PSNI has assured the Coroners Service of its continued co-operation and commitment in relation to all matters affecting legacy inquests.

The MoD said it has always fully complied with its legal and statutory obligations in regard to disclosure of legacy material, including historic intelligence, and the discovery process involves searching a wide variety of systems and archives.

The coroner's statement added: "Inquests which are listed for hearing this calendar year are on track and should be capable of being heard in accordance with planned timescales."

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DATABASE PSNI material

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 31, 2018
Words:245
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