Irish Republican News · July 9, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Belfast man convicted on information charge
Belfast man convicted on information charge

North Belfast man Jude O’Hagan has been convicted of “possessing information of use to terrorists”.

O’Hagan was convicted after he was found to be in possession of a list of MPs in the British Conservative Party.

He was arrested following the break-in at PSNI Special Branch offices at Castlereagh on St Patrick’s Day 2002. However, the information seized on the computer was unrelated to the break-in.

Although it was accepted that the information allegedly found on a hard disc on a computer seized from O’Hagan’s home was in the public domain and could have been compiled using library books or the party’s own internet web site, Justice Morgan said O’Hagan “was engaged in a targeting exercise in the early part of 2002”.

Justice Morgan also said that a file on RAF sites “accessed from this computer” was used “for targeting purposes”.

“If this information was being gathered for the Provisional IRA it would merely indicate that the organisation was still engaging in identifying targets while it was on ceasefire.”

O’Hagan, released on bail pending sentence in September, was convicted of two charges of having false identities and six charges relating to the possessing and collecting of information.

“The fact that much of this material is available to the public if they search for it does not prevent this information being of a kind likely to be uselful to a person preparing an act of terrorism,” Morgan insisted.

O’Hagan, jailed for 16 years in 1993 for his activities with the Provisional IRA, was released under the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

INS STRIKES AGAIN

A former IRA Volunteer was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport after he answered “No” on a form that asked if he had ever been involved in terrorist activities, US authorities said.

Joseph Black, 46, who served three years in a Belfast prison in the late 1970s for his involvement with the IRA, was detained by immigration officials Wednesday after arriving on a flight.

He was ordered held at a US federal jail until a hearing later this month.

© 2004 Irish Republican News