[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 16:50 GMT
Two charges dropped in Omagh case
A court artist's drawing of Sean Hoey
Sean Hoey still faces Omagh charges
Two charges against the man accused of the Omagh bombing have effectively been dropped after prosecution lawyers accepted there was no case to answer.

The charges were connected to a car bombing and an explosives find just weeks before the 1998 Omagh atrocity in which 29 people were killed.

Sean Hoey, 37, of Jonesborough, County Armagh, still faces 56 charges.

Mr Justice Weir will make a ruling on Thursday on a defence application for the case to be thrown out.

Sean Hoey had been charged with causing an explosion in the middle of Banbridge on 1 August 1998 - exactly two weeks before the Omagh bombing.

The prosecution had been expected to present voice analysis evidence to try to link the south Armagh electrician to the Banbridge attack.

But none has been introduced in the trial and on Tuesday, Crown lawyers invited the court to find there was no case to answer as relates to that specific charge.

Not supported

They also accepted that there was not the evidence to support a separate charge of conspiracy to murder.

That was connected to an explosives find at Blackwatertown Road outside Armagh a month earlier.

While officially these are decisions for Mr Justice Weir, it effectively means two charges have been withdrawn.

However, the accused still faces 56 other charges including 29 counts of murder at Omagh.

The judge has been listening to a defence application for the case to be thrown out, and the Crown's response to it.

These arguments have now been completed, and Mr Justice Weir will make a ruling on Thursday.

There have now been 50 days of evidence at the trial.


OMAGH BOMB TRIAL

Sean Hoey Why case unravelled
Kevin Connolly examines the Omagh bomb trial

KEY STORIES

LATEST NEWS

BACKGROUND & ANALYSIS

VIDEO REPORTS

TRIAL EVIDENCE
DECEMBER
 

NOVEMBER
 

OCTOBER
 

SEPTEMBER
 




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific