Belfast Telegraph

Guns accused is to use shoot-to-kill probe reports in appeal


Top secret reports into alleged shoot-to-kill cases are to form part of a bid by one of the Colombia Three to have his weapons conviction overturned, senior judges heard yesterday.

Even though Martin McCauley faces extradition to South America if he returns to Northern Ireland, his challenge to being found guilty of having three rifles 30 years ago is continuing at the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

The 51-year-old, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was arrested with two others in Colombia in 2001 and accused of IRA training of rebel Farc guerrilla forces.

At the time the trio's detention threatened to destabilise the Northern Ireland peace process.

They were initially cleared of the charge, only to be convicted on appeal and sentenced to 17 years in jail. But the three men fled Colombia in 2004, turning up in the Irish Republic a year later.

McCauley is now appealing a conviction for having weapons in suspicious circumstances in 1982, for which he received a two-year suspended jail sentence.

He was charged after being shot and wounded by an RUC team near Lurgan where the antique-style guns were discovered.

His friend Michael Tighe (17) was killed. That death was one of six investigated by John Stalker and Colin Sampson to try to establish if police intended to kill.

The case was listed for update in June.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph