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Northern Ireland Commissioner for Victims and Survivors

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Solicitor-General what progress has been made in the inquiry by Peter Scott, QC into criticisms made by Mr. Justice Girvan of the Northern Ireland Office. (127258)

Since I last updated the House, Mr. Scott has received a further 28 lever-arch files of documentation, bringing the total to 41 files. Most of the documents comprise the files maintained contemporaneously by the two departments concerned, and require careful scrutiny to identify those which are central to the matters which Mr. Scott is investigating.

Mr. Scott has sent questionnaires to 17 potential witnesses and received responses from 14 of them to date. He expects to receive the outstanding responses by the middle of this month. There may be one or two other witnesses whom he will also want to question in due course.

When he has completed his scrutiny of the documentation, Mr. Scott will interview any witness of whom he requires further information or clarification of their statement. Some of those interviews will take place in Belfast later this month and the remainder in London, probably in April and May. He will submit his report to the Attorney-General as soon as possible after completing those interviews and taking any steps which may emerge from them and are necessary to complete his report.