Belfast Telegraph

Man wrongly jailed over IRA bomb that killed soldiers is denied compensation

By Alan Erwin

A man whose conviction for conspiracy to murder soldiers in an IRA bomb attack was quashed is not entitled to compensation, a High Court judge ruled.

Lord Justice Gillen dismissed Gerard Magee's legal challenge to a decision by the Justice Minister to deny him a payout.

Mr Magee (49) was jailed for 20 years over an alleged plot to attack British troops in 1988. He served nearly half his sentence before being released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Magee, originally from Antrim but now living in Tyrone, claimed his confession was the result of ill-treatment by police.

In 2000 the European Court of Human Rights held that his admissions, after he had been denied access to a solicitor for two days, were in breach of his right to a fair trial. Mr Magee's conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal a year later.

Under legislation anyone who has a guilty verdict reversed on the grounds of a new or newly discovered fact showing beyond reasonable doubt a miscarriage of justice will be paid compensation.

Mr Magee's solicitor Fearghal Shiels said: "We are disappointed and are carefully considering the merits of an appeal."

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