Speaking after it was revealed that files on shoot-to-kill deaths were destroyed weeks before inquests were due to begin, Mr McCartney said;
“The fact that secret files into the killings of nine people in Armagh, including five republicans, were destroyed just weeks before fresh inquests into their deaths is shocking but sadly it is not surprising.
“Over several decades the British state has gone to great lengths to cover up its role in the conflict and this is yet another example of that.
“While it is unclear whether it was the Ministry of Defence, MI5 or another agency who ordered the destruction of these files, it highlights the lengths to which the British government will go to cover up the truth.
“It should be remembered that at the heart of this there are families who are being denied the truth about what happened to their loved ones.
“The British government is clearly denying the families of those killed in these incidents their basic human rights by blocking access to the truth.
“It also exposes the lie that the British government was not a protagonist in the conflict.
“All of this highlights the need to for an appropriate method of dealing with the past.”ENDS/CRÍOCH