Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Colombia 3 man to see secret files at appeal

Colombia Three: Niall Connolly, James Monaghan and Martin McCauley.
Colombia Three: Niall Connolly, James Monaghan and Martin McCauley.

One of the so-called Colombia Three has received official clearance to include top secret reports on alleged shoot-to-kill cases in his bid to have a weapons conviction overturned, it has been confirmed.

Senior coroner John Leckey has agreed to waive a condition that Martin McCauley's lawyers can only use the documents for the purposes of an inquest.

The development is being seen as a significant breakthrough in 51-year-old McCauley's attempt to clear his name. His challenge to being found guilty of having three rifles 30 years ago is continuing at the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

McCauley is appealing a conviction for having weapons in suspicious circumstances in 1982 for which he received a two-year suspended jail sentence.

He was charged after being shot and wounded by an RUC team at a farm shed near Lurgan where the antique-style guns were discovered. His friend Michael Tighe (17) was killed in the operation.

McCauley's lawyers argue the conviction should be quashed because events at the farm shed were recorded by police but never disclosed to the defence at trial.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz