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Prominent republicans Duffy and McCrory released on bail

By Alan Erwin

Published 18/02/2016

Republicans Colin Duffy (right) and Alex McCrory (left) leave Laganside courts yesterday
Republicans Colin Duffy (right) and Alex McCrory (left) leave Laganside courts yesterday

High-profile dissident republican Colin Duffy has been granted bail on charges linked to a murder bid on police in Belfast.

His co-accused Alex McCrory was also released from custody yesterday as a court hearing to decide if they are to stand trial continues.

Defence lawyers mounted successful applications based on the delay in the criminal proceedings.

They are fighting attempts to prosecute them along with Henry Fitzsimons for a series of alleged terror-related offences.

The three men are accused of belonging to an IRA grouping, and attempting to murder members of the PSNI.

They face further counts of possessing firearms and ammunition, and conspiring to murder security force members.

The alleged offences are connected to a gun attack on a police convoy in the north of the city. A PSNI Land Rover and two accompanying vehicles came under fire on the Crumlin Road in December 2013.

Lawyers for 48-year-old Duffy, formerly of Forest Glade in Lurgan, 54-year-old McCrory, from Sliabh Dubh View in Belfast and 47-year-old Fitzsimons, of no fixed address, are challenging the strength of the evidence against them.

They contend that the three accused should not be returned for trial.

Last week Fitzsimons was granted bail after spending 27 months in custody.

During preliminary inquiry proceedings at Belfast Magistrates' Court yesterday, lawyers for Duffy and McCrory secured their releases from custody as well.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan confirmed: "Mr Duffy and Mr McCrory were granted bail due to the excessive delay and uncertainty over any predicted trial date."

A District Judge imposed tight conditions, including curfews, electronic monitoring and daily reporting to police.

They are banned from leaving the jurisdiction and must surrender travel documents.

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