Irish Republican News · July 12, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: SAS men must testify
SAS men must testify
sas.jpg

SAS soldiers who shot dead a man in Derry In 1984 will be ordered to give evidence at a fresh Inquest, it has been announced.

The Six-County Attorney General John Larkin has directed new hearings Into the death of Danny Doherty and also the killing of Gerard Casey by loyalists In 1989 because key documents were not given to the coroner at the time of the Initial Inquests.

Mr Doherty was shot dead by the SAS in the grounds of Gransha hospital on December 6 1984. He was hit 19 times and forensic evidence suggested six shots were fired into his body as he lay on the ground. The soldiers who shot him did not give evidence at the first inquest in 1986 but will be told to attend the new one.

Mr Casey was shot dead by loyalists as he slept at his home in Rasharkin, County Antrim in 1989.

He had been arrested and held in Castlereagh interrogation centre several times since 1985. The PSNI (then RUC) told him in 1988 that he would be shot and it is widely believed the force colluded in his murder.

Mr Larkin’s decision comes after successful legal challenges were brought on behalf of the families of both men In 2007 following revelations the RUC had withheld documents from the coroner.

Fearghal Shiels, of Madden & Finucane solicitors, welcomed the decision.

“The soldiers who shot Danny Doherty must now attend to give evidence and explain why 19 shots were fired at him, when he posed no threat, and again whilst he lay mortally wounded on the ground,” he said.

Mr Shiels also said Gerard Casey had been “subjected to an Intense campaign of harassment by the RUC” and the withholding of key documents during the first Inquest could have impacted the original verdict.

CHARGES WITHDRAWN

Meanwhile, charges against four unionist paramilitaries over the murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan have been inexplicably withdrawn.

However, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has insisted that the men will appear before the courts.

Craigavon men Drew King and Nigel Leckey had been accused of murdering the 51-year-old as he walked home with his wife from a pub in Lurgan in 2001. There were some concerns of collusion by the then RUC police in the killing.

King’s brother Robin was also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, while another man was accused of helping to conceal a getawey car.

The evidence is understood to have come from a witness who went to police in 2007.

It emerged in court yesterday that charges against the four have been withdrawn.

Last night a PPS spokeswoman said that “the prosecution case will continue to be progressed against all of the accused”.

Another man, Neil Hyde, is still charged with the murder.

© 2010 Irish Republican News