MI5 'taped dissident conversations'

28 November 2009
Belfast Telegraph

Secret services agents recorded 190 hours of conversations involving three dissident republicans facing terror charges, Belfast Crown Court has heard.The three men were arrested as part of an MI5 sting to smash a gun smuggling operation by dissidents between May 2005 and June 2006.

Paul Anthony John McCaugherty (43), from Beech Court in Lurgan, and Desmond Paul Kearns (44), from Tannaghmore Green in Lurgan, deny conspiring to possess firearms and explosives.

McCaugherty and Dermot Declan Gregory (41), aka Michael Dermot, from Concession Road, Crossmaglen, are denying entering into an arrangement to make the deeds of a restaurant in Portugal available for the purposes of terrorism.

A pre-trial application to allow 33 security services agents to give evidence in the trial anonymously and from behind screens will be heard in February. The trial is scheduled to start next April.

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