Belfast Telegraph

Lithuanian nationals to stand trial over heroin dealing in Belfast

By Alan Erwin

Two men are to stand trial following a police operation targeting suspected heroin dealing in Belfast, a judge has ordered.

Lithuanian nationals Vitalij Berniukevic, 31, and Linas Misiukevicius, 43, appeared before the city's Magistrates Court charged with offences linked to the illegal trade.

They are jointly accused of possessing heroin with intent to supply at a location in Belfast on December 30 last year.

The defendants, both of no fixed abode, were brought from custody for a preliminary enquiry hearing.

Speaking through an interpreter, they confirmed that they understood the allegations against them.

Neither of them gave evidence or called witnesses at this stage in proceedings.

Their lawyers also raised no objections to prosecution submissions that they each have a case to answer.

Granting an application to have them sent for trial at Belfast Crown Court, Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall directed that they should be returned to custody.

She was also told at least one of the defendants is planning a future legal bid to have the case against him halted due to an alleged lack of evidence.

Barrister Declan Quinn, representing Berniukevic, confirmed: "There will be a no bill application (at the Crown Court).

"There are issues about one of the defendant's role in the matter and the admissibility of a number of statements."

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