Posted on October 8, 2019
Retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory, head of the inquiry, complained to police and feared a diplomatic incident. In 2004, he recommended a public inquiry into the killing, but one has yet to be held.
Mr Finucane’s family believes state collusion in his murder went to the top of government.
The prominent solicitor was shot dead by loyalists at his home in north Belfast in 1989.
Details of a visit by MI5 to Judge Cory’s London offices in 2002 – corroborated by the inquiry’s senior counsel – are contained in a BBC Spotlight programme.
MI5 told his staff they were removing all the inquiry’s hard drives in the interests of national security.
They were erased before being returned.
BBC Spotlight was told MI5 was concerned the inquiry’s computer system was insecure and a leak could expose the identities of informers.
Judge Cory raised MI5’s intervention with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir John Stevens, but decided against pursuing the matter to prevent a diplomatic incident.
The judge had printed back-up copies of the material and believes nothing was ultimately lost.