Belfast Telegraph

Extradition ongoing for Tyrone man wanted over killing of prison officer David Black

By John Cassidy

A court has heard that extradition proceedings are ongoing in the Irish Republic to have a dissident republican returned to Northern Ireland to stand trial on charges linked to the murder of prison officer David Black.

Damien Joseph McLaughlin (41), from Kilmascally Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, skipped bail late last year and fled to the Republic.

He was awaiting trial for aiding and abetting the murder of Mr Black in November 2012, two charges of possessing articles for use in terrorism, two counts of preparation for acts of terrorism and belonging to a proscribed organisation.

McLaughlin was arrested in Co Donegal this year on foot of a European Extradition Warrant issued on behalf of the PSNI.

At Belfast Crown Court yesterday, a prosecution lawyer told Mr Justice Colton: "Mr McLaughlin, as you may already be aware, is in the Republic of Ireland awaiting extradition.

"The court in Dublin earlier this week requested more information from the requesting State, ie the UK, and it is likely that further substantial submissions will be made to the court.''

Mr Justice Colton agreed to review the case on January 12, 2018.

McLaughlin was on bail at an address in west Belfast, but when police called he could not be found and milk in the fridge was four weeks out of date.

His disappearance while on bail provoked a public outcry from David Black's family, who said they "felt let down and hurt by the justice system''.

Mr Black's widow Yvonne, daughter Kyra and son Kyle were later visited by the PSNI officer leading the manhunt for McLaughlin, Detective Chief Supt Raymond Murray.

DCS Murray said he had visited the Black family "to offer sincere apologies on behalf of the PSNI for the stress and worry this situation is creating for them" and provided "reassurance of the steps police are taking to locate the whereabouts of Damien McLaughlin''.

Belfast Telegraph

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