Concern at Omagh charge ‘stunt’

A lawyer acting for Omagh bomb accused, Sean Hoey, has said he is profoundly disturbed at reports alleging that his client will be charged with murder in relation to the 1998 Omagh bombing.

The reports were attributed to PSNI sources but Peter Corrigan, of Kevin Winters and Co Solicitors, said his client had not received any communication from either the PSNI or the DPP.

Mr Corrigan was in telephone contact with crown prosecutors yesterday afternoon about Mr Hoey’s case but he was not told of any proposal to bring forward further charges.

Mr Hoey has been in custody at Maghaberry prison, County Antrim, since September 2003.

He faces 17 offences in relation to constructing explosive devices.

Mr Corrigan said he applied for a bail hearing within the last week.

He believes that the latest revelations are a “media stunt designed to disrupt the strong and well-prepared case which Mr Hoey intends to make in applying for bail”.

“I am profoundly disturbed with this interference in my client’s basic rights,” Mr Corrigan said.

“Absolutely no evidence has been brought to date against Sean Hoey in relation to the Omagh bombing.

“In the opinion of the defence, little or no evidence has been put to our client which would give rise to a realistic prospect of conviction on the current charges.

“But the fact these latest allegations have been leaked shows that it is a media stunt,” Mr Corrigan said.

“Sean Hoey is a prime candidate for bail. He has never been convicted of any offence.

“Yet he has been facing questioning or charges in relation to this since 1998.

“My client vehemently denies all charges put against him.”

The police have refused to confirm the reports.

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