2nd July 2003;
Patricia Coyle of Harte Coyle Collins, Solicitors & Solicitor Advocates, acting on behalf of Sylvia Hackett, widow of Dermott Hackett shot 16 years ago in Castlederg, confirmed today that the Department of Public Prosecutions has refused to release the original prosecution file.
The request for the file was made by the law firm after recent allegations by Michael Stone that his conviction in March 1989 for Dermott Hackett’s killing was based on unreliable and fabricated confession evidence.
The DPP refused the lawyers access to the file in a letter dated 26th June 2003, stating that the recent European Court decisions of Jordan Kelly, McKerr & Shanaghan v UK did not give Mrs Hackett the right to the access the prosecution file. The letter went on to the state that the DPP could not agree that the investigation into Mr Hackett’s death was unsatisfactory.
Patricia Coyle of Harte Coyle Collins said today;
“The DPP refusal to provide Mrs Hackett with a copy of the prosecution file leaves her in the dark in relation to Stone’s volte face. My client is entitled to investigate further whether or not there is any truth in these fresh allegations. In order to do so Mrs Hackett requires the basic information. In the light of the DPP refusal we are now considering judicial review proceedings.”
Mrs Hackett commented this morning;
“In the light of Stone’s allegations I am surprised that the DPP are not interested in investigating this matter themselves. As it stands they seem to be intent on depriving me of the right to investigate the matter further myself.”