Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Station re-arrest on Army murders

Colin Duffy
Colin Duffy was re-arrested by police

Prominent Northern Ireland republican Colin Duffy has been re-arrested by police in connection with the murder of two soldiers in County Antrim.

Earlier, he and five others won a legal challenge to their detention in connection with the murder of the soldiers and a police officer.

Mr Duffy was freed, then re-arrested at Antrim police station, his lawyer said.

The other five people have been released, the firm of solicitors representing them said.

Mr Duffy's solicitor, Pat Vernon, said his client was taken back into custody under anti-terrorism legislation.

"We understand he has been re-arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act again, but we don't know any further details," he said.

The lawyer said his client's continuing detention was unlawful and would be challenged.

In a statement the Duffy family said the re-arrest showed a "complete disregard" by the police for the justice system.

Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey said that Mr Duffy should be released or charged.

"This afternoon's re-arrest is a clear abuse of the court's judgement," he said.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr said a judge who granted an extension to the detention at the weekend should have examined the original arrests.

He did not question the lawfulness of those arrests but said the judge who granted the extension should have examined the issue.

"No consideration was given to the lawfulness of the original arrest," he said.

The men were being questioned at Antrim Police Station
11 people arrested in total
Two people have been charged with Constable Carroll's murder
Five people have been released in this case
Four arrests over the army murders
They were all released, but one was re-arrested
One of those was released pending reports to the PPS
*Source PSNI

Outside the High Court, senior investigating officer Derek Williamson said: "We will now have to go and look at all our options."

Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar were shot dead while collecting a pizza delivery at the Massereene barracks in Antrim on 7 March. Constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead in Craigavon two days later. A man appeared in court in Lisburn on Wednesday charged with his murder.

At the weekend a county court judge granted a police detention extension request brought under the 2006 Terrorism Act.

After hearing an emergency judicial review application, a High Court panel headed by Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice, Sir Brian Kerr, overturned the county court judge's decision.

"By reason only of the judge's conclusion that she was precluded from considering the lawfulness of the applicants arrest I have decided that her decision must be quashed," he said.

Joe McVeigh, of Kevin R Winters solicitors which represents some of the released men, welcomed the ruling.

"We have always taken the view that not to examine the conduct of arresting officers when considering to detain people under the Terrorism Act has always been a breach of human rights," he said.

Justice Minister Paul Goggins said police remained "resolute and determined" to bring those who carried out the murders in Antrim and Craigavon to justice.

"Today's High Court ruling is of course in relation to a technical issue around detention and the law has taken its course on this specific aspect of the legal process," he said.

"Nonetheless, the police investigation into the murder of the soldiers at Massareene Barracks and the attempted murders of two other soldiers and two civilians are ongoing."

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific