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Court rejects Sinn Fein MLA McCartney’s compensation claim

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, whose murder conviction was quashed, has lost his appeal for compensation.

Journalist Eamonn MacDermott also failed in the same appeal. Both men were ordered to pay the costs of bringing their latest legal challenge.

Mr McCartney and Mr MacDermott were cleared of murder in February 2007 after judges declared unease about the safety of guilty verdicts.

The men had argued that substantial compensation was due for time spent in prison.

Mr McCartney served more than 17 years for killing industrialist Jeff Agate and Special Branch detective Patrick McNulty in Londonderry in 1977.

Mr MacDermott, now a Londonderry-based journalist, spent 15 years behind bars for constable McNulty's murder.

Both men denied involvement and said police fabricated confessions. After their cases were referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission judges ruled the convictions should be quashed.

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But dismissing their appeals, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said: “The new evidence was sufficient to give rise to unease about the safety of the conviction, but this is a case in which at its height it can only be said that the appellants might not have been convicted.”

He added: “Accordingly the claims for compensation cannot succeed.”

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