MI5 testimony in terrorism case

24 October 2009
The Guardian
Henry McDonald

Thirty-five MI5 officers are to be called to give evidence against three Northern Irish men accused of dissident republican terrorism. The officers will be allowed to give their evidence behind screens, Belfast crown court heard yesterday.

The court heard that the security forces had amassed 90 hours of bugged conversations involving the accused.

Paul McCaugherty, 43, of Lurgan, County Armagh, denies seven charges, including conspiring to possess firearms and explosives and using euros 46,000 in Bruges and Amsterdam for the purposes of terrorism.

He is also accused of membership of the Real IRA and of entering into an arrangement to make the deeds of a restaurant in Portugal available for the purposes of terrorism.  

(Note: Restaurant is in Alvor, Portugal)

Dermot Gregory, 41, also known as Michael Dermot, of Crossmaglen, County Armagh, faces a similar charge relating to the Portuguese restaurant.

Desmond Kearns, 44, of Lurgan, is charged with conspiring to possess firearms and explosives.

All offences are alleged to have taken place between May 2005 and June 2006. The full trial will begin in April.

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