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Date finally set in case of journalist Martin O’Hagan’s murder

A date has finally been set to see whether the case against five men charged in connection with the murder of journalist Martin O’Hagan can proceed.

Yesterday the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said it would be ready to serve papers against the accused in six weeks — almost two years after they were arrested. Last week a district judge criticised the length of time the PPS had taken in preparing its case and issued an ultimatum.

He gave the prosecution service one week to set a date.

The PPS responded yesterday by telling the court they would be ready to present on August 13.

The preliminary inquiry will allow the district judge to decide if the evidence is strong enough for the case to go to the Crown Court. But during the hearing yesterday a defence solicitor raised concerns they were unaware on what grounds the prosecution service was proceeding.

It has been almost nine years since Mr O’Hagan was killed.

In 2008 five men — Robert Drew King (41), Robin Andrew King (44), Mark Kennedy (30), Nigel Leckey (45) and Neil Hyde (30) were arrested and charged in connection with his murder.

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