Belfast Telegraph

Dissident suspect's challenge thrown out

By Alan Erwin

A man who sued for being investigated and prosecuted for a dissident terrorism-related offence has lost his High Court case.

Anthony Lancaster was seeking a declaration that it was unlawful and unfair to charge him with assisting in a meeting addressed by a member of the IRA.

His lawyers argued the PSNI treated him unequally compared with paramilitaries who backed the Good Friday Agreement.

But three senior judges rejected his bid and said police had a duty to investigate crimes.

The 51-year-old, from Circular Road, Londonderry, was charged in connection with a 32 County Sovereignty Movement rally in April 2012.

Lancaster's legal team challenged the lawfulness of both the PSNI's decision to investigate and the Public Prosecution Service's decision to prosecute.

However, Lord Justice Girvan, sitting with Lord Justice Gillen and Mr Justice Horner, ruled Lancaster had no legitimate expectation not to be prosecuted.

The judge added that the police's job to investigate crime ought to be protected.

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