Hazzard Calls For Loughinisland Judge To Withdraw

South Down MP Chris Hazzard has called for the Loughinisland judge to step back.

“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,” said Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard.

South Down MLA Emma Rogan has joined MP Chris Hazzard in calling for the Loughinisland judge to stand Down.

Mr Hazzard 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.

“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.”

Chris Hazzard has supported the Loughinisland residents group.  Sinn Féin South Down MLA Emma Rogan, who’s father Adrian Rogan was killed in the 1994 attack by the UVF ,is also supporting Chris Hazzard in the call for the judge not to be involved in the case because of past association with a client he represented, a police officer.