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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 11:58 GMT
Judge to give Omagh bomb verdict
By Vincent Kearney
BBC NI home affairs correspondent

A court artist's drawing of Sean Hoey
Twenty-nine people died in Omagh on 15 August 1998
The judge in the Omagh bomb trial will deliver his verdict later.

Sean Hoey, 38, from Molly Road in Jonesborough, denies a total of 56 charges, including the murders of 29 people killed in Omagh in August 1998.

During the trial, the prosecution alleged that DNA evidence linked him to the Omagh bombing and other explosions.

But it was also revealed in court that two police witnesses had lied about how they had gathered some of the forensic evidence.

The defence argued that the evidence was unreliable and did not provide the basis for a conviction.

The judge, Mr Justice Weir, will give his verdict on Thursday afternoon, 10 months after the end of one of the largest murder trials in UK legal history.

Video link

The families of many of those who died in Omagh on 15 August 1998 are expected to travel to Belfast Crown Court to hear the verdict. Others will watch a video link set up in Omagh College.

In addition to the 29 counts of murder, Sean Hoey is also charged with five counts of conspiracy to murder, four counts of conspiracy to cause an explosion, six counts of causing an explosion, and 12 counts of possession of explosive devices.

The oldest victim in the Omagh bomb was 66 and the youngest just 18-months-old. There was evidence from hundreds of witnesses during the 56 day trial and there were more than 500 items of evidence.

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