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Alleged top dissident fails in bid to be freed from custody

By Alan Erwin

Published 25/08/2015

Custody: Alex McCrory
Custody: Alex McCrory

An alleged senior dissident republican paramilitary accused of trying to kill PSNI officers has failed in a new bid to be released from custody.

Alex McCrory mounted a fresh application for bail based on delays in the case against him and two other co-accused.

The 53-year-old was arrested along with Colin Duffy and Henry Fitzsimons, both 47, following a gun attack on a police convoy in north Belfast in December 2013.

A PSNI Land Rover and two accompanying vehicles came under fire as they travelled along the Crumlin Road.

Two AK-47 rifles and spent rounds of ammunition were later recovered along with a hijacked and burnt-out taxi.

McCrory, of Sliabh Dubh View in the city, faces charges of conspiring with Duffy and Fitzsimons to murder members of the security forces and belonging to a proscribed organisation - namely the Irish Republican Army.

He is also accused of attempting to murder police officers, and possessing firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Charges were brought against him, Duffy, from Forest Glade in Lurgan, and Fitzsimons, of no fixed address, following a covert surveillance operation.

The three men were recorded meeting near Duffy's home a day after the shooting incident, the prosecution alleges.

At previous hearings it was claimed they were holding leadership discussions about IRA activities and talked about seeking out security force targets with a high chance of "getting a kill".

Refusing bail, district judge Fiona Bagnall ruled there was no change of circumstances to warrant releasing McCrory from custody.

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