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McFarlane loses High Court bid to stop Tidey kidnap trial

Published 08/12/2006

The 52 year-old Belfast man charged in connection with the kidnap in 1983 of supermarket boss Don Tidey has lost his High Court bid to stop his trial from going ahead.

Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane, of Jamaica Street in Belfast, had argued that he couldn't receive a fair trial because of systematic delays in bringing the prosecution.

Mr McFarlane is charged with falsely imprisoning the supermarket boss at woods in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, in November and December 1983.

Mr Tidey was rescued after 23 days in captivity.

McFarlane was the leader of the IRA prisoners at the Maze Prison who escaped in September 1983.

This is his second set of judicial review proceedings to stop his trial from going ahead.

He was due to go on trial in the Special Criminal Court in October, but that was deferred pending the outcome of this action.

His lawyers claim the delay in bringing the prosecution meant his constitutional rights had been breached and that he couldn't receive a fair trial.

However, Mr Justice Quirke today rejected this, saying he had not established that any culpable or blameworthy delays had interfered with his rights.

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