BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 18:27 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 19:27 UK

Arrested man fails in bid to vote

High Court, Belfast
The case was heard at the High Court in Belfast

A County Tyrone man being questioned about a paramilitary style attack has failed in an emergency legal bid to be allowed to cast his vote.

The suspect, who is being held in Antrim under anti-terrorism laws, wanted to be taken to his polling station in Strabane.

He was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the attack on a man in Strabane on 19 April.

His application was dismissed at the High Court in Belfast on Thursday.

The man's current detention period would expire 22 minutes after the polls in the general election close at 2200 BST.

Mr Justice Treacy held that his inability to vote "will not thwart the free expression of the people".

"The suggestion that police should transport the applicant to Strabane to vote and then back to Antrim Serious Crime Suite to continue his questioning, apart from imposing an unreasonable burden on the police, would or might lengthen the applicant's detention and could frustrate or disrupt what is a serious terrorist investigation," he added.

The court was told the attack the man is being questioned about was believed to have been carried out by Republican Action Against Drugs.

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