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new info Family of murdered journalist Martin O'Hagan suing PSNI after former soldier's claims

The Sunday World journalist was shot dead by an LVF mob as he walked home from the pub with his wife in 2001

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Journalist Martin O'Hagan

Journalist Martin O'Hagan

Journalist Martin O'Hagan

The family of murdered Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan are suing the police for allegedly withholding information which could have prevented his murder.

In a BBC Spotlight documentary which was aired last night, a former soldier who was interviewed anonymously claims the Army was aware three days before of the murder that Mr O’Hagan was to be targeted by loyalist paramilitaries in 2001.

Speaking to the BBC, the former soldier said he was aware of the identities of those who where involved in the murder before it happened.

The soldier claimed in the documentary that he worked undercover.

He explained: "I reported who was going to carry out the hit. I also reported where the weapon was coming from. I also reported where the weapon was being hidden in that week and they assured me that they were going to stop it."

During the course of the interview, the former soldier admitted that he had close connections with loyalist paramilitaries.

It was also revealed the PSNI did not interview the soldier, even though contact was made with him surrounding the murder.

Fintan O’Hagan, Martin’s brother, told the Spotlight investigative team, when referring to the former soldier’s account: "It's been a rollercoaster because at the start I 100% believed him.

"But then he would have disappeared and he would have got out of the scene and I was thinking is he telling the truth?"

The PSNI have said they investigated the murder in 2001 and 2007 but didn’t want to comment further citing ongoing legal proceedings.

The soldiers' claims were also put to the Ministry of Defence, who also declined to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings.

The former soldier also revealed that when he offered to speak to the PSNI over the phone, his solicitor cut the call short because the police said they wanted to caution him first.

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