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Thursday, September 3, 1998 Published at 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK

World: Europe

Guerin murder suspect charged

Veronica Guerin, right, pictured with son Cathal and husband Graham Turley

A man extradited from Holland has appeared before a Dublin court, charged with the murder of the investigative journalist, Veronica Guerin.

Brian Meehan was flown back from the Netherlands earlier after he lost a 10-month legal battle against extradition.

Mr Justice Barr remanded Meehan in custody until October 8 and told him he was entitled to apply for legal aid.

He was arrested in Amsterdam on October 10th last year after a surveillance operation involving Dutch police and the gardai.

He is alleged to have driven the motorcycle which acted as a getaway vehicle for the man who shot Veronica Guerin on June 26, 1996

She had been investigating leading drug gangs in the Irish Republic when she was shot in her car as she waited at a traffic light.

During a 20 minute hearing at a special sitting of the Special Criminal Court, Meehan faced 18 charges.

He was charged with the murder of Veronica Guerin, as well as importing cannabis resin and the unlawful possession of cannabis resin for sale.

He also faced charges of possession of firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Three others already jailed

Paul Ward is awaiting trial in Ireland for murder and John Gilligan is fighting extradition from Britain on the murder charges from a UK prison.

An Irish police officer told a Dublin court in 1997 that said she believed the man who shot Ms Guerin is Patrick Holland. He is serving a 12-year sentence for drugs offences.

Veronica Guerin's death sparked a massive police investigation and led to the introduction of harsher laws against organized crime in Ireland.

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