Irish Republican News · June 12, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Omagh civil case ends with inquiry call
Omagh civil case ends with inquiry call
omaghbomb.jpg

So-called ‘dissident’ Michael McKevitt has announced he is appealing a judgment that found him and three other men financially responsible for the 1998 Omagh bombing.

McKevitt -- separately accused of being the leader of the ‘Real IRA’ and jailed on the charge of “directing terrorism” in the 26 Counties -- was accused of organising the bombing campaign.

The attack was one of a series aimed at business and financial centres across the North. Twenty-nine people died when telephoned warnings failed to clear the area around the bomb.

Controversy has raged in recent years over revelations that British and 26 County forces had extensive prior knowledge of the bomb plot but failed to intervene.

The civil case against four of the five men named in the media as constituting the ‘Real IRA’ unit behind the bombing was seen as a means of giving closure to the grieving families, and was funded by the British exchequer.

Justice Declan Morgan awarded 1.6 million pounds in damages to 12 named relatives who were killed in the bombing.

Despite the judgement, the families of the victims, as well as those allegedly behind the attack separately called for a public inquiry into the bombing.

The British government has repeatedly refused to allow such an inquiry. The campaign for Mr McKevitt, who is seeking to have his sentence for ‘directing terrorism’ overturned, said he would be appealing the judgement.

A spokesman for Mr McKevitt said: “The campaign to expose the truth behind the Omagh bomb conspiracy will continue. The legal team acting on behalf of Michael have been instructed to appeal the judgment.”

One of those accused, Sean Hoey was found not guilty in a previous trials related to the bombing, while another, Colm Murphy, had his conviction overturned.

LAWYER JAILED

A lawyer in the North has been jailed for 10 years for inciting loyalists to murder.

Mr Justice Deeny said that, instead of acting as a legal adviser, the 44-year-old from Derry appeared instead to be an enthusiastic member of a paramilitary gang.

Sandhu had been secretly recorded at the PSNI serious crime suite at Antrim police station between June 2005 and February 2006 as he coached unionist paramilitaries, kept them informed of police investigations and on one occasion even incited murder.

Sandhu was overheard telling a client that a victim, who was recovering in hospital, needed “to be clipped”.

In another murder case, Sandhu was secretly taped making a phone call during which he advised that a suspect be taken “offside” in a bid to foil the police investigation.

Sitting in Belfast Crown Court Mr Justice Deeny said Sandhu’s actions had not been committed “on a single occasion” but rather “show a pattern on the part of the accused”.

The disgraced solicitor received a reduced sentence for his guilty plea and the fact that his advice had gone unheeded.

© 2009 Irish Republican News