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Prison officer Adrian Ismay killing investigation file 'to be completed by end of month'

Published 27/07/2016

Charges: Christopher Robinson
Charges: Christopher Robinson
Adrian Ismay

An investigation file into the killing of a prison officer in Belfast is expected to be completed by the end of the month, a judge was told.

Prosecutors provided the update as Christopher Robinson appeared back in court on a charge of murdering Adrian Ismay.

Mr Ismay, 52, suffered serious leg injuries when a booby-trap bomb exploded under the van while he was driving in the east of the city in March.

He had been recovering, but died following a return to hospital 11 days later.

Robinson, 46, of Aspen Park in Dunmurry, faces a further charge of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

He is allegedly linked to the bombing by CCTV footage of a car believed to have been used to plant the device at the victim's Hillsborough Drive home early on March 4.

Forensic examination of the car revealed traces of RDX, an identifier in high explosive material, on its rear floor and seats, a previous court was told.

Robinson was said to have known Mr Ismay through working together as volunteers with St John Ambulance.

The accused, who is out on bail, attended Belfast Magistates' Court on Wednesday for a progress report on the case against him.

A Public Prosecution Service lawyer said a full investigation file is still outstanding, but is due to be submitted by the end of the month.

Family at the funeral of prison officer Adrian Ismay, who was injured in a bomb attack
Family at the funeral of prison officer Adrian Ismay, who was injured in a bomb attack
Scene of the explosion
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: Family members of Adrian Ismay comfort one another outside Woodvale Methodist church as the funeral of the murdered prison officer takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: Family members follow the remains of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay as his funeral takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: A police officers salutes the hearse on arrival at Woodvale Methodist Church as the funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: A piper leads the cortege as the funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Adrian's wife Sharon looks to the sky as the family walk behind the coffin.
Copyright © Kevin Cooper Photoline NUJ: A piper played a lament at ICTU Silent Vigil for Prison Officer Adrian Ismay was on Tuesday 22 March 2016 at Belfast City Hall. Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary, lead the Silent Vigil for Prison Officer Adrian Ismay, while piper played a lament. Over 200 people gathered at Belfast City Hall In silent reflection at the murder of Prison Officer Adrian Ismay, with trade union banners in solidarity, politicians, members of the public and trade union members from across the trade union movement. ICTU Silent Vigil for Prison Officer Adrian Ismay was on Tuesday 22 March 2016 at Belfast City Hall.
Copyright © Kevin Cooper Photoline NUJ: NIPSA at ICTU Silent Vigil for Prison Officer Adrian Ismay was on Tuesday 22 March 2016 at Belfast City Hall. Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary, lead the Silent Vigil for Prison Officer Adrian Ismay, while piper played a lament. Over 200 people gathered at Belfast City Hall In silent reflection at the murder of Prison Officer Adrian Ismay, with trade union banners in solidarity, politicians, members of the public and trade union members from across the trade union movement. ICTU Silent Vigil for Prison Officer Adrian Ismay was on Tuesday 22 March 2016 at Belfast City Hall.
People attend a short vigil in Belfast city centre to remember murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay, whose funeral took place today.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Sharon (wife) is comforted with Family and Friends During The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Based on that disclosure, defence counsel Sean Devine pressed for a further review next week.

But raising an issue over forensic reports, District Judge Fiona Bagnall instead adjourned proceedings until August 24 for confirmation that work has been completed.

She also resisted a request for Robinson to be excused from attending court again on that date.

"It would need to be (a reason) that he's not capable of coming down," she said.

"So I would expect him to be here."

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