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'informants' BBC investigation into murder of Martin O'Hagan to reveal those involved protected from prosecution

The Sunday World journalist was murdered near his home by the LVF in 2001

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Murdered: Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan

Murdered: Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan

Murdered: Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan

Police informants involved in the murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan were protected from prosecution.

A BBC Spotlight investigation into the 2001 murder has uncovered serious concerns over the police investigation and the failure to prosecute.

Tuesday’s programme contains significant revelations about the PSNI’s handling of the case.

It contains fresh allegations around the involvement of informers and their alleged protection from prosecution in the years since Martin’s death.

Members of Martin’s family are interviewed as are former Sunday World editors Jim Campbell and Jim McDowell.

Father-of-three Martin was gunned down as he walked to his Lurgan home after a night out with wife Marie. He was hit several times in a drive-by shooting, throwing himself in front of his wife to shield her from the shots.

Martin was the only journalist murdered during the Troubles.

The shooting was carried out by the Loyalist Volunteer Force and, despite the identities of the members of the killer gang being widely known, no one has faced a murder charge.

In the wake of the killing the then Secretary of State John Reid pledged that “no stone would be left unturned” in the hunt for the killers.

Martin had exposed the activities of the LVF, in particular their campaign of sectarian murder.

The Spotlight investigation, fronted by Stephen Dempster, is expected to raise serious questions about the use of informants.

The programme comes in the wake of several Police Ombudsman reports which uncovered collusive behaviour between the police and loyalists.

The Spotlight investigation into the murder of Martin O’Hagan airs on Tuesday at 10.35pm on BBC1.

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