A man charged with terrorist offences following the recovery of an improvised shotgun allegedly fired at a PSNI station must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled today.
Gabriel Meehan (42) was refused bail amid claims he was involved in events surrounding the suspected Continuity IRA attack on the police base in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
Prosecutors also said he had a serving British Army captain's car registration mark on a scrap of paper hidden inside a mobile phone.
But lawyers for the former member of Republican Sinn Fein argued that the incident earlier this year was nothing more than a "publicity stunt".
Meehan, of Pound Street in Irvinestown, is charged with possessing a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
He also faces further counts of having articles for use in terrorism and details of a vehicle belonging to a member of the security forces.
Police located the improvised device and a spent cartridge in a riverside area opposite the police station on March 17.
It followed a series of telephone messages to media organisations from callers claiming to represent the Continuity IRA, stating either that a bomb had been left in the area or shots had been fired at the PSNI base.
Forensic examinations were carried out on the shotgun and assessed that it had been recently discharged, the court heard.
Investigations led to Meehan's home being searched on March 30.
Crown counsel said a phone recovered from a bedroom hide contained a receipt with the Army captain's registration details inside the battery section.
"It's a very sinister piece of information," the barrister contended.
"It could only be for one reason: to target a member of the security forces, either to cause very serious injury or attempt to murder."
Mrs Justice Keegan heard Meehan was allegedly sighted on March 16, close to where the device was located the following day, and then making phone calls.
"There's clearly a coordinated group participating in this activity," the prosecutor added.
However, defence barrister Joe Brolly insisted Meehan made none of the phone calls and was not responsible for planting the device.
"He accepts that on March 16 he took a photograph of it for propaganda purposes," Mr Brolly said.
At the time, according to the barrister, Republican Sinn Fein were contacting media outlets to assist in locating the improvised gun.
Meehan had been approached by two men seeking information on the party's activities, with bundles of cash put through his letter box, it was claimed.
The court heard the number plate details related to one of those individuals.
Mr Brolly added that his client has since "renounced" his membership of Republican Sinn Fein amid family pressure.
He submitted: "This was all a publicity stunt — there's nothing unlawful about taking a picture of a device after there's been a public hue and cry over it for three days."
Denying bail at this stage, Mrs Justice Keegan cited the risk of re-offending.