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Family of murdered man John Pat Cunningham condemn PSNI investigation

The family of John Pat Cunningham believe the PSNI should not be attempting to investigate his murder.

The family fears that, if the PSNI opens a reinvestigation now, it will rule out a new, independent inquiry under the proposed Historical Investigations Unit proposed in the Stormont House Agreement.

A statement released by the victim’s family said: “In the aftermath of the murder, the two soldiers who shot John Pat in the back, as he ran away from them, were questioned for five minutes each only.

Murder scene at Carrickaness Road, in 1974.

Murder scene at Carrickaness Road, in 1974.

“They refused to give any explanation for their actions to the RUC and were not pressed to do so.

“We have no confidence in the PSNI’s ‘Legacy Investigations Branch’ which has launched this public appeal. This is because of its lack of independence and failure to comply with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. We have made this known to the PSNI on a number of occasions.”

The Cunningham family were not informed this appeal was being made today. They first heard about it through the media.

Last week, they were asked through their legal representative to provide a photograph but refused to do so, telling the PSNI that they did not wish to be involved in this appeal.

The family have never met with the PSNI and asked the PFC to attend a recent meeting to inform them that they had no confidence in this investigation.

The statement added: “We fear that this appeal is being made by the PSNI for public relations purposes.”

The Cunningham family will be giving no interviews and ask the media not to attempt to make contact with them.

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