Belfast Telegraph

New judge for murder accused's legal aid bid

BY STAFF REPORTER

A man wanted in Northern Ireland in connection with a murder was granted his request for a different High Court judge to hear his legal aid bid in the Republic.

Francis Lanigan last week accused Mr Justice John Edwards of being biased against him, after the judge turned down his legal aid application to fight his extradition to Northern Ireland.

Mr Lanigan (47), of Mulhuddart, Co Dublin, was arrested in January in connection with the murder of John Knocker (22) in 1998. He was gunned down at the Exit 15 nightclub in Dungannon after travelling from west Belfast to pick up a girlfriend. The PSNI wants hairdresser Lanigan brought back to Northern Ireland to question him about the murder.

Justice Edwards said he held no bias toward Mr Lanigan but, if that was the perception, he wouldn't stand in the way of it being heard by a different judge.

Lanigan was remanded in custody until July 26, when Mr Justice Michael Peart will hear his legal aid bid. He will be back before Mr Justice Edwards on July 30 to deal for the extradition issue.

Ex-INLA man Lanigan was jailed for 10 years in 1986 for conspiracy to murder police officers.

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