‘Delay’ in case against Colin Duffy

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A solicitor for high profile republican Colin Duffy has expressed concerns about a “delay” in relation to a Crown case against his client.

Duffy and two co-accused appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court, via video-link, where a date was due to be fixed to hold a preliminary enquiry.

Duffy, 46, from Forest Glade in Lurgan, 45-year old Henry Joseph Fitzsimons of no fixed abode, and Alex McCrory, 52, of Sliabh Dubh View in Belfast are currently on remand on various terrorist-related offences including conspiracy to murder members of the security forces and belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the Irish Republican Army.

It is alleged that the offences were committed over a period spanning from January to December last year.

All three were arrested following a gun attack on three police vehicles on Belfast’s Crumlin Road last December.

When the trio appeared in court via video link on Tuesday, all three men refused to confirm their names to a court clerk.

During the hearing, a representative from the PPS asked the court to adjourn fixing a date for the preliminary enquiry for a further four weeks.

When this request was made, a solicitor representing Duffy expressed concerns about the delay in the case.

He said the defence has requested information from the Crown asking to set out “the gist” of the evidential basis for the charges against the accused.

This information, the solicitor said, has not yet been served on the defence.

Telling the court the case was “complex”, the PPS representative said the PE papers relating to the case were with senior counsel.

After asking the PPS to indicate when these papers would be made available, the Magistrate remanded Duffy, Fitzsimons and McCrory back into custody and re-listed the case to next Tuesday.