The case of Sean Hoey, who is facing 29 murder charges in relation to the 1998 Omagh bombing, has been compared to the cases of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four.
Hoey’s lawyer, Peter Corrigan, appealed for anyone concerned about the administration of justice to learn about the case.
“There’s no use waiting 20 years to find out that someone has been fitted up. If people had listened to Fr Raymond Murray and others during the early 1970s, then maybe the Birmingham Six and the Guilford Four wouldn’t have spent so long imprisoned on false pretences,” Mr Corrigan told Daily Ireland.
“That is the scale of the miscarriage of justice which Mr Hoey is facing and I am now appealing for anyone who is interested in justice to objectively examine the details of this case for themselves and bring public scrutiny to bear on the prosecuting authorities and on the nature of their case,” the lawyer added.
Mr Hoey, from south Armagh, has been held at Maghaberry Prison in County Antrim, since September 2003. It was confirmed last week that 61 new charges -- including 29 murder charges relating to the Omagh bombing -- will be directed against Mr Hoey at a hearing next week.
News of the new charges were leaked to the media just days before Mr Hoey made a bail application two weeks ago.
Mr Corrigan expressed deep concerns about aspects of the prosecution case, including the management of alleged forensic evidence and the systematic media leaks.
He confirmed that an “abuse of process” application, based on bad faith by the prosecution, would shortly be lodged in an attempt to have proceedings against Mr Hoey thrown out.
“We put the prosecution on notice that we are making an abuse of process application. We had already planned to make submission on an abuse of process in respect of the extreme delay in bringing Mr Hoey’s case to trial.
“We are now also adding an argument of mala fides or bad faith on the part of the prosecution in respect of the entire manner in which they’ve conducted the investigation and made representations to the court.
“At the last hearing, we were at an advanced stage in organising with the prosecution the mechanics of a commital hearing in terms of witnesses, availability and so forth.
“Yet during those discussions, nobody bothered to tell the defence that new charges were being considered.
“They subsequently told the media but they did not see fit to tell the court or ourselves,” Mr Corrigan said.