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Belfast terror trial hears alleged secret recording of accused Colin Duffy


Colin Duffy

Colin Duffy

Photopress Belfast

Colin Duffy

A covert recording of a conversation between two men alleged to be republican Colin Duffy and an undercover operative posing as a holidaymaker has been played in court.

Duffy is standing trial along with two other men on charges arising from a gun attack on a police convoy in north Belfast in December 2013.

Four months before the gun attack, the Crown alleges that Duffy struck up a conversation with a businessman called Goran whilst on holiday in Santa Ponsa.

Part of the recording features two men discussing Semtex, RPGs and detonators as well as prices and the transport of items.

It is the Crown's case that the recording is in fact Duffy talking to a British Secret Service operative posing as an Eastern European businessman who fought in the Balkans War.

A three hour and 43 minute recording was played at the non-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court, with the Crown alleging that 'UM1' on the recording is Goran/the undercover agent, whilst 'UM2' is Colin Duffy.

The two males struck up a friendship in the Spanish resort after Goran asked for a light for a cigarette, and the recording played to the trial was made on the evening of August 28, 2013.

UM2 told UM1 that he heard him talking to another man about tanks. UM2 asked if he could sell him tanks then said, "I don't want the tank. Something else, could you sell it to me? For the right price?"

UM1 talked about "transport" and "movement" being a problem. When UM1 mentioned "tons... back home", UM2 asked, "are we talking explosives, detonators that type of stuff?", then when UM1 said Semtex, UM2 said, "Semtex, you can get that like, seriously?"

The men then discuss movement, to which UM2 said, "you bring it to a spot, I pick up and I pay". UM1 told UM2 "going through Britain is impossible", and when they discuss where the best place to meet is, UM2 said, 'I'm not invisible... I am red hot.'

UM2 talked about a "serious business deal" then told the other man "I'm looking RPGs". After discussing which types he needed, UM2 said "give me a price, Goran". UM1 then told UM2 "I have only Eastern Europe Semtex".

UM1 then told UM2, "if you go for big quantities you will, you will burn because, not only because of shipping but also because of intelligence". UM2 said, "I wouldn't move it in big quantities nowadays".

UM2 asked again about RPGs, and when he is asked if he knew how to use them, UM2 said "yes, yes, yes, yes, yes". Also discussed were snipers and grenades, with UM2 asking the other man if they can penetrate armour.

At one point in the conversation UM2 said: "I would be happy enough for Semtex, cortex, detonator cord, detonators, RPGs and if you can deal with AKs or whatever you know."

When UM1 said "AKs no problem", UM2 replied: "That's the basic type of stuff we're talking about, so we can deal then from that." He added, "if we can do a deal, we can do a deal", and when UM1 talked about being "prepared to spend", UM2 replied: "That isn't a problem."

UM2 then said "if you can do a good amount sitting for 200, 200 grand right, and then we can take it in small, small, small batches."

At one point near the end of the conversation, UM2 asked the other man "you're not bullsh*****g me now, you can do that type of stuff?", then UM1 gave UM2 his mobile number.

The pair discuss meeting in Amsterdam and UM1 said if they were communicating by phone, "let's talk about building materials, construction materials, about bricks."

And when UM1 asked UM2 if he had the 'thing' to test the 'dets', UM2 replied, "sure we found that when we were at home now we're trying to make the f*****g things homemade and they're not, they're not reliable, you know what I mean like. I mean we need instantaneous f*****g commercial electric detonators."

UM1 then told UM2 he would keep the phone line open for a month.

Four months after the secret recordings, a police convoy came under a gun attack in north Belfast.

Duffy, along Henry Fitzsimons (50) and 57-year-old Alex McCrory were all charged with offences following the incident. All three - whose addresses are the subject of a reporting restriction - have been charged with, and deny preparing and directing terrorism, and membership or professing to be members of the IRA.

Fitzsimons and McCrory are also charged with and deny attempting to murder police in the convoy, and possessing the two AK47 assault rifles and ammunition used in the north Belfast gun attack.

Belfast Telegraph