Belfast Telegraph

Police watchdog probe into killing of dissident republican ‘nearing completion’

Tommy Crossan was shot dead at a fuel depot off the Springfield Road in Belfast on Good Friday 2014.

Tommy Crossan’s daughter Debbie (left) outside Belfast Coroner’s Court (David Young/PA)
Tommy Crossan’s daughter Debbie (left) outside Belfast Coroner’s Court (David Young/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

A police watchdog probe into the alleged discovery of surveillance equipment in a van driven by a prominent dissident republican prior to his murder is nearing completion, an inquest has heard.

The family of Tommy Crossan, who was shot dead in west Belfast in 2014, also asked the police ombudsman to establish how much police knew about those behind previous threats to kill the former leading Continuity IRA member.

A barrister for the Crossan family told a preliminary inquest at Belfast Coroner’s Court on Friday that he had been told the end of the ombudsman’s investigation was “imminent”.

“We have been told an end result is imminent, but in my experience of PONI they often communicate that, then other documentation is found and that delays it,” he said.

Coroner Patrick McGurgan also heard on Friday that police were collating non-sensitive and sensitive material in relation to Mr Crossan’s murder.

A barrister for the PSNI said there has been an “extensive collation process undertaken by police”.

“The current position is that documentation will be available for viewing by your counsel to determine potential evidence within 14 days,” he told the coroner.

A full inquest hearing into the death of the 43-year-old father-of-six was adjourned last year to facilitate an investigation by the ombudsman.

Mr McGurgan said he was keen that the full inquest was heard as planned in March, however he has also set aside a week in May as a back-up option.

Mr Crossan was shot dead at a fuel depot off the Springfield Road on Good Friday 2014.

At the time there were suspicions the murder was linked to a long-running dispute with rival dissident republicans. No-one has ever been convicted.

The next preliminary inquest has been scheduled for October 24.

PA

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