Arms plot trial ruling adjourned

16 June 2010

A JUDGE yesterday adjourned a decision on whether MI5 overstepped the mark in an arms plot sting against dissident Republicans.

Lawyers for two of three Co Armagh men facing charges arising out of the action against the Real IRA, claim they were "entrapped" and it would be an "abuse of process" to continue with the Belfast Crown Court trial.

Diplock judge Mr Justice Hart, trying the case alone, said he hoped to give his ruling within a few days, if not by the start of next week.

Paul McCaugherty, 43, of Beech Court, Desmond Kearns, 44, of Tannaghmore Green, both Lurgan, and Dermot Gregory, 41, also known as Michael Dermot from Concession Road, Crossmaglen, deny a total of seven charges.

The charges relate to an alleged plot to smuggle arms into Northern Ireland from Eastern Europe.

Gordon Kerr QC for the prosecution rejected the suggestion that Kearns or McCaugherty were the victims of entrapment.

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