Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Omagh spy ‘lied about arrest for abduction’

An FBI agent who played a key role in securing the conviction of a Real IRA mastermind lied about being arrested over the alleged abduction of two teenage girls, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Jailed terror chief Michael McKevitt's lawyer claimed the judge who found him liable for the Omagh bomb should have focused more on the alleged deceit of David Rupert.

The one-time trucking company boss recruited by the FBI to infiltrate dissident republican ranks testified against McKevitt at his criminal trial in Dublin in 2003.

Mr O'Higgins disputed Rupert’s claim that he was not arrested over an incident while trucking across the United States with |another man.

“They had picked up two runaways who were aged 15, and at the time they were apprehended by police one of the girls was in the truck. The other had been let out,” the barrister claimed.

Lords Justice Higgins, Girvan and Coghlin were told police detained and interviewed Rupert before he was released.

“The significance for his credibility was that he had been arrested in respect of an investigation into the abduction of minors,” Mr O'Higgins said.

“It left Mr Rupert in a difficulty. Mr Rupert met that difficulty head-on by insisting that, even though the handcuffs had been placed on him, even though he had been taken away by police car, and even though he had been interviewed in the police station, that was not an arrest.

“He classified an arrest as when you are charged.”

The barrister argued that no finding was made in the civil action ruling about this denial.

The appeal continues.

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