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Thursday, July 29, 1999 Published at 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK

World: Europe

Life sentence for Guerin murderer

Veronica Guerin with her family

The second man to be tried for the murder of Irish crime journalist Veronica Guerin has been jailed for life by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Brian Meehan, 36, had denied any involvement in the June 1996 murder.

[ image: Brian Meehan denied involvement]
Brian Meehan denied involvement
But the panel of three judges found him guilty after accepting evidence which placed Meehan at the scene of the murder.

Meehan was also convicted of 14 other drugs and firearms offences.

Rode motorbike

Ms Guerin, an investigative reporter for the Sunday Independent, was shot six times at point blank range by a gunman riding pillion on a motorbike as she waited at traffic lights in her car.

The prosecution had claimed that Meehan drove the motorcycle which carried Ms Guerin's assassin to and from the scene.

The court threw out the evidence of a former accomplice of Meehan, Charles Bowden, who signed up to a witness protection programme granting him immunity from prosecution in return for evidence.

However, it did accept the testimony of Russell Warren, another recruit to the scheme, who followed Miss Guerin's movements in the hours before the murder and called Meehan on a mobile phone with the details.

Last year, Paul Ward, of Dublin, was jailed for life after being convicted of the killing at the city's no-jury Special Criminal Court.

A third man, John Gilligan, is fighting extradition proceedings from the UK and is being held in London's Belmarsh jail.

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