Belfast Telegraph

Terror accused cannot holiday in Spain, judge rules

Charges: Liam Hannaway
Charges: Liam Hannaway

By Ashleigh McDonald

An application to relax bail conditions imposed on man branded a "dedicated terrorist" which would allow him to holiday in Spain was refused by a senior judge yesterday.

Father-of-five Liam Hannaway - who is currently awaiting trial with others on charges arising from an M15 operation - launched the application at Belfast Crown Court.

Tom MacCreanor, Hannaway's barrister, urged Mr Justice Colton to grant the request to allow his client to go on holiday.

The application, however, was opposed by the Crown, which said the accused was facing serious charges, and has already served a lengthy sentence for similar offences.

Hannaway (49), from White Rise, Lagmore, Dunmurry, was arrested with others following a house raid in Newry in November 2014.

The raid followed months of secret surveillance when a series of meetings by suspected dissidents were bugged.

He has been charged with, and denies, 13 terrorist-related offences including membership of a proscribed organisation, conspiracy to possess explosives and providing weapons training.

The non-jury Diplock trial is due to commence in Belfast this November.

Mr MacCreanor told the court that while Hannaway had not yet booked or paid for a holiday it was his intention to go to Spain, if granted permission.

He then reminded Mr Justice Colton that while he had refused a previous application to allow Hannaway to go to Turkey, he had granted a prior request to allow Hannaway to holiday in the Republic. The defence barrister said "on that occasion he returned to Northern Ireland".

Mr MacCreanor also said that since being granted bail there has been "no indication" that Hannaway wouldn't comply with bail conditions.

Mr Justice Colton then heard from the Crown barrister who highlighted a number of concerns, insisting Hannaway's previous record for "significant" similar offences, coupled with the charges he currently faces, gave rise to "real fears" he could reoffend.

Regarding the offences he is accused of, the barrister cited Hannaway as being "at the very centre of the conspiracy".

He also accused Hannaway of "trying to deceive the court" whilst on bail, and said that in June 2016 he appeared at Newry Magistrates Court in a bid to get his tag removed.

The prosecutor said that he arrived in court on crutches and wearing a surgical boot and "suggested he had suffered a serious leg injury" - but told the court: "He was caught on camera where he was observed walking without a cast or crutches and with no obvious difficulty with his mobility."

The barrister said this behaviour, his record and the charges he now faces "shows he is a dedicated terrorist" and there was a "real cause for concern about reoffending", as well as a risk of flight.

In response Mr MacCreanor said Hannaway's family connections were here, and he had "no connections" outside Northern Ireland.

Refusing the application, the judge said any conditions imposed "are there for a reason".

He added he would allow him to holiday in the Republic again if the relevant details were provided to the court.

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