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Cleared man claims police officer 'accepted a bribe'

A man cleared of fraud charges allegedly witnessed a police officer involved in his case accepting a bribe, the High Court has heard.

Martin Byrne's life was ruined by being arrested and put through criminal proceedings after claiming a cash handover had occurred, his lawyer said.

Mr Byrne is seeking to judicially review the Police Ombudsman's office over its alleged continuing failure to investigate his complaint.

Although a grievance was first raised seven years ago it was put on hold when charges were brought against him.

He was acquitted of all alleged offences at Antrim Crown Court in 2011, with the trial judge said to have expressed concerns about the behaviour of the investigating police officer.

Mr Byrne's barrister, Michael Lavery, disputed a claim that the case should be ruled out due to time limits.

But Stephen McQuitty, for the Police Ombudsman, said the case should be thrown out due to the delay.

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Mr Justice Treacy adjourned to allow for more details on the complaints. He is expected to decide on leave to seek a judicial review in two weeks.

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