Belfast Telegraph

Court date set for republican cell damage trial

The trial of 11 republicans — including prominent Lurgan dissident Colin Duffy — charged with wrecking their cells at Maghaberry jail is start to at the beginning of next month.

Prosecutors were unable to open the case at Belfast Magistrate's Court on Monday because one of their witnesses wasn't available.

Defence lawyers had also protested they had not been able to watch video footage from inside Maghaberry from the night the prisoners were alleged to have caused criminal damage to their cells in May last year.

Some of the lawyers said that the DVDs with footage had not worked on their computers.

The accused were not present in court yesterday as prosecution lawyer Michael Chambers revealed his witness was now available and 100 new copies of the eight-hour long CCTV pictures had been made.

Among the defendants are John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville, who were convicted earlier this year of murdering PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll. The officer was dead in Craigavon in March 2009.

The other accused are Kevin Barry Nolan from Main Street Blacklion; Gerard James McManus from Fernhill, Letterkenny; Damien Joseph McLaughlin from Lake View Cottages, Dungannon; Mark McGuigan, Sperrin View, Omagh; Sean McConville, Kilwilke Road, Lurgan; Brendan Conway from Rosemount Gardens, Belfast; Joseph Patrick Barr, Bridge Street Strabane; and Harry Fitzsimmons whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry.

District Judge Des Perry set the new date for the case as Monday September 3.

Belfast Telegraph

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