Legal challenge to no-jury trial
A leading republican has launched a legal action against his forthcoming criminal trial being heard without a jury, it has emerged.
Co Tyrone man Brian Arthurs is facing charges involving alleged deception and possessing criminal property. The 45-year-old is seeking to quash a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions to issue a certificate for the trial to take place in front of a judge alone.
His barrister told High Court judges it was the first judicial review challenge to be brought against a provision under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007.
Raza Husain claimed Arthurs, of Finulagh Road, Castlecaulfield, Dungannon, had a “fundamental right to trial by one's peers”.
But Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan questioned why an application should not instead be made at the Crown Court before the trial begins in February.
Further arguments will be heard next month over which court the challenge should go before.