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Man accused of trying to kill police officer outside Belfast golf club wants case thrown out

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Police and army bomb disposal experts at Shandon Park Golf Club in June (David Young/PA)

Police and army bomb disposal experts at Shandon Park Golf Club in June (David Young/PA)

Police and army bomb disposal experts at Shandon Park Golf Club in June (David Young/PA)

A man accused of trying to murder a PSNI officer is to mount a legal bid to have the case thrown out, it emerged on Tuesday.

Peter Granaghan, 39, faces charges linked to a bomb found under the off-duty policeman's car at a golf club in east Belfast 12 months ago.

He was expected to be returned for trial during a hearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

Bu defence lawyers revealed plans to mount an early challenge to the strength of the prosecution evidence.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall adjourned proceedings to next month, when a hearing will be listed.

Outside court defence solicitor Darragh Mackin, of Phoenix Law, confirmed: "We are instructed to seek a preliminary investigation, as it is our client's contention that there is no case to answer."

Granaghan, of Blackrock Park in Belleek, Co Fermanagh, is currently in custody charged with attempted murder, as well as making and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

He denies involvement in the thwarted attack for which terror grouping The New IRA claimed responsibility.

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The device was hidden under the car at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast

The device was hidden under the car at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast

The device was hidden under the car at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast

The off-duty officer discovered the booby trap bomb below his car while it was parked at Shandon Park Golf Cub on June 1 last year.

He had just finished a round of golf and was walking back to the vehicle when he spotted something underneath it.

Army technicians carried out a controlled explosion at the scene to disrupt the device and seize items for forensic examination.

In its claim of responsibility, The New IRA later stated that the bomb would have exploded if it had travelled over uneven terrain.

The organisation warned: "We were unlucky this time, but we only have to be lucky once."

Granaghan is allegedly linked by partial DNA profiles on components of the bomb.

At a previous hearing prosecution lawyers claimed the evidence connects him to making the device.

Searches at the accused's home led to the discovery of republican material which "shows a certain mindset", it was contended.

But defence lawyers insisted any forensic traces on wires and battery connectors can be explained by innocent contact during past work as an electrician and handyman.

The DNA is the only evidence against Granaghan, they argued.

Those submissions will now come under further judicial scrutiny when the preliminary inquiry gets underway.

Belfast Telegraph