Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of having terrorist documents under death threat from dissidents, court told

Belfast Magistrates' Court.
Belfast Magistrates' Court.

A man accused of having terrorist documents is under death threat from the dissident republicans he is allegedly associated with, a court heard today.

The 52-year-old defendant, who cannot being identified due to reporting restrictions, was arrested following a police operation in Belfast.

He was remanded into custody after appearing before the city's Magistrates Court on a charge of possessing records likely to be of use to terrorists.

The material seized on Tuesday allegedly involves hand-written notes relating to an internal security review by a dissent republican organisation.

According to detectives the documents are linked to a group styling itself Oglaigh na hEireann.

Seeking bail for the accused, defence lawyers disputed the suspected records amounted to any new evidence.

They argued that the seizures involved old notes connected to a previous incident involving their client.

District Judge Liam McNally refused bail due to the risk of potential re-offending.

He also agreed to impose reporting restrictions after being told of concerns for the accused's safety.

Based on information from police, a prosecutor said: "There's a valid, believable threat against this defendant."

Mr McNally cited the man's right to life under Article 2 of the European Covention on Human Rights.

With the threat confirmed, defence counsel Sean Devine challenged the decision to deny bail over concerns about associating with a paramilitary grouping.

"It's accepted that he's under threat from that group, it completely undermines (concerns about re-offending)," the barrister claimed.

However, the judge insisted that his decision still stood.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link next month.

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