Belfast Telegraph

Trio talked of police attack on recording, court is told

On trial: Colin Duffy
On trial: Colin Duffy

By Ashleigh McDonald

Three men on trial in relation to a gun attack on police were secretly recorded discussing "getting more rifles" the day after the shooting, an officer has claimed.

A police convoy came under attack in Ardoyne in Belfast on December 5, 2013. The following day, MI5 secretly recorded three men - who the Crown and PSNI say were Colin Duffy, Alex McCrory and Henry Fitzsimons - in Lurgan discussing the shooting, Belfast Crown Court heard.

Yesterday, a senior police officer involved in the investigation told the court he believed the three men covertly recorded by MI5 were the accused.

Duffy (51), Fitzsimons (50) and McCrory (57), whose addresses can't be given, deny preparing and directing terrorism, and membership or professing to be members of the IRA. Fitzsimons and McCrory also deny attempting to murder police in the convoy, and possessing two assault rifles used in the attack.

A PSNI detective inspector who was based in Lurgan at the time confirmed he had received discs containing CCTV footage and audio recordings from MI5 officers following the attack.

He confirmed the recordings were taken from Forest Glade and Demesne Lane in Lurgan on December 6, 2013. He believed it was the three defendants who were secretly recorded.

The officer said he received the discs on December 9, and a reference to "getting more rifles" was heard in the covert conversation.

In the meantime, "senior police, senior members of the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) and senior members of the secret service met to discuss the roles of these discs in criminal proceedings."

The officer added that on December 13, consent was given to use the discs as evidence, as opposed to intelligence.

The officer confirmed that on December 17, he spoke to Duffy at Antrim Serious Crime Suite. He was already aware of the nature of his enquiries, and answered 'not guilty' when charged with various offences linked to the gun attack.

At hearing.

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