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EDITIONS
Friday, 16 November, 2001, 13:37 GMT
Summing up in Omagh bomb trial
The accused appeared at Dublin's Special Criminal Court
The trial is at Dublin's Special Criminal Court
The prosecution has given its closing argument in the Dublin trial of the only person charged in connection with the Omagh bombing in which 29 people died.

Families of those killed and injured in the dissident republican attack were in court on Friday to hear the prosecution sum up its case that two mobile phones lent by Colm Murphy to the bombers were used in the County Tyrone town one hour before the bombing.

Mr Murphy, a 49-year-old builder and publican from Armagh, with an address at Jordan's Corner in Ravensdale, County Louth, has denied charges of conspiring in Dundalk with another person to cause an explosion in the State or elsewhere between 13 and 16 August 1998.

The trial at Dublin's Special Criminal Court was allowed to continue on Friday despite the court's acceptance on Thursday that two Irish police officers had inserted false notes into an interview given by Mr Murphy.

'Overt acts'

On the 20th day of the trial, in his closing speech the prosecuting counsel Tom O'Connell told the court that there were "overt acts" proving that Mr Murphy conspired with the bombers to cause an explosion.

Colm Murphy: Only person charged in connection with Omagh bombing
Colm Murphy: Only person charged in connection with Omagh bombing

He said Mr Murphy's mobile phone was used in Omagh at 1357BST on 15 February 1998.

A second mobile phone, allegedly borrowed by Mr Murphy from an unwitting employee, was used in the town at 1409 GMT, he said.

Fifty-six minutes after the second telephone call the bomb tore through Market Street, killing 29 people and injuring more than 200 others.

'Phones lent to terrorists'

Mr O'Connell said the prosecution had demonstrated that Murphy participated in a conspiracy to cause an explosion in Northern Ireland on the weekend of the blast.

"The form that conspiracy took was to loan two mobile phones to persons he knew, or contemplated, wanted those phones to carry out a bombing run to Northern Ireland.

"Those who carried out the bombing were undoubtedly members of a terrorist organisation, no doubt this entailed a much wider conspiracy."

He added: "There was no evidence that Mr Murphy knew exactly where the explosion was to take place. But the explosion to which he lent his aid was in fact that explosion in Omagh".

Case hinges on 'confession'

Mr O'Connell accepted that the prosecution case hinged on confessions Mr Murphy allegedly made to officers after his arrest.

Mr Murphy has said these admissions are fabricated.

Mr O'Connor also told the court that Mr Murphy's mobile phone was active in Banbridge, County Down, two weeks earlier where there was an explosion which injured 38 people including three police officers.

Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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