Since we have made our first article we have found that the ruling in R v John Downey which triggered this Review, and disclosure to the public of the details of an administrative scheme to deal with ‘on the runs’, had a distressing impact on bereaved families and survivors of terrorist attacks across the United Kingdom. They deserve as many answers as one can give to their questions about the scheme as soon as possible.
I am unhappy to report that there has been a great deal of misunderstandings about the review which has caused people to misinterpret and misreport regarding the scheme. This paired with some which may have unwittingly added to their distress. I urge everyone who has read this review to carefully consider what they have wrote before commenting on it and please choose to potentially reword their responses when they do eventually reply because you need to be conscious of the potential victims whom are affected by this issue.
Both me and my team of associates have examined thousands of documents and written reports beforehand and have worked hard to guarantee that we have conducted a thorough investigation on this review in the time which we had available to do so. Therefore, I am firstly massively thankful to my team for all their efforts. If we have failed to answer any of your questions or queries within my remits or did not reply to enough of your satisfaction, it is not that I haven’t tried to do so but instead just the overwhelming amount of workload and I hope that what we have been able to establish will assist not only Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee but also the team we have built in the UK for future cases of similar nature.
For all those who have made themselves available for interview or comments at whatever notice of our convenience, I am so very indebted to you all. Those who took the trouble to write to me or our office or offered to meet any of the members of our team and to those who provided any available assistance to the review, I am also extremely grateful!
Because of all of these efforts we have been able to reach the preliminary findings before finishing the case and trial. This has been an essential point given the sensitivity of the case and the review itself. I also had to allow time for security checks and further representations from those particularly affected by these findings. However, despite the slight delay in finalizing this report, I am now pleased to be able to set out my findings in full and hopefully before any court and jury. With all of our findings and your help hopefully we can bring the case to a final resolution.