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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 22:09 GMT
Men in false imprisonment charges
Four Belfast men have appeared in court charged in connection with the alleged false imprisonment of a dissident republican in the city.

Gerard McCrory, 32, of Dermot Hill Road, Liam Rainey, 30 of New Barnsley Crescent, Harry Fitzsimmons, 35, of St James Gardens and Thomas Tolan, 32, of Ballymurphy Parade appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday.

They are accused of beating and unlawful imprisoning Bobby Tohill who was taken from a city centre bar on Friday evening.

They were remanded in custody for four weeks.

The men are also charged with having items including metal cudgels, pepper spray, disposable clothing and a van in circumstances likely to be of use to terrorists.

Before the case began, the director of public prosecutions told the court that a fourth charge of membership of a proscribed organisation, which all four had faced, would not be proceeded with.

Answering questions from the defence, a detective chief inspector confirmed that the alleged victim had not made a complaint to the police.

The court was told all four made no reply when charged.

BBC NI's Conor McAuley reports:
"Police officers lined the court as the defendants were brought up from the cells two at a time"

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