Provisional date set for IRA man's inquest

Scales of justice

An inquest into the death of unarmed IRA man Pearse Jordan, shot by police in west Belfast almost 20 years ago, may be held in October.

Up to four weeks have been allowed for the hearing, provisionally set for 3 October 2011.

The Belfast Coroner's Court still has to decide on whether up to 20 potential witnesses should be screened when giving evidence.

Mr Jordan, 23, was shot by the RUC in disputed circumstances in 1992.

Coroner Brian Sherrard said: "Maybe we should try to prioritise this matter, if we can provisionally think about the third of October for this matter to proceed."

He is also consulting with colleagues about the handling of material from the Stevens inquiry, the London police team which probed security force collusion in controversial conflict deaths in Northern Ireland.

The police service is responsible for using the database and it will also be represented at the inquest.

The coroner said the database could impact on many other cases.

"It is important that nothing is done here that casts any doubt on the integrity of the PSNI," he said.

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson will also have to consider issuing public interest immunity certificates to prevent disclosure of certain details which he feels may endanger security.

The coroner will also have to consider all applications for witness anonymity submitted by members or former members of the police.

A review hearing will be held later this year.

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