Government should not interfere in the public inquiry

04 September 2020

We have filed a note of submission to the state-appointed board of the public inquiry into the circumstances of the assassination of our wife and mother, concerning the Prime Minister’s letter informing the board that he is granting a one-time deadline extension to 15 December 2020. The board has stated that the new deadline is insufficient and a further extension will be necessary.

The Terms of Reference for the public inquiry are clear. It is within the state-appointed board’s remit, and not the government’s, to decide when its work is complete. If the board decides it needs more time to fulfil its remit, the deadline of the public inquiry is automatically extended. Government’s role is to provide the board with the necessary resources to complete its task, and to act on the recommendations of its final report.

In particular, we draw attention to ​paragraph 8 of the Terms of Reference, which government itself published on 15 November 2019:

The Board of Inquiry shall endeavour to conclude its work within a time frame of nine months without prejudice to the proper fulfilment of these terms of reference​.

Imposing restrictions on the board runs counter to the inquiry’s Terms of Reference and amounts to a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.