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Judgment reserved in MI5 arms sting case

It is “perfectly clear” that an alleged dissident republican was guilty of plotting to buy and smuggle guns and explosives, a prosecutor has told Belfast Crown Court.

The claim was made by Gordon Kerr QC as he made final submissions in the trial of Co Armagh men Paul McCaugherty and Declan Gregory, also known as Michael Dermot.

McCaugherty (43), from Beech Court in Lurgan, faces a total of six charges, including conspiring to get arms and explosives, IRA membership and three charges of using money for the purposes of terrorism.

Gregory (41), from Concession Road in Crossmaglen, denies two charges of making property available to terrorists.

Since the trial started on May 5, Mr Justice Hart has heard that MI5 secret service agents posing as arms dealers mounted a two-year operation between August 2004 and June 2006, directed against republican activities.

It is the Crown case that in recorded meetings between an agent and McCaugherty throughout Europe, McCaugherty was trying to to buy arms and explosives.

Judgment was reserved.

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