A court has thrown out politically-motivated charges against a prominent County Tyrone republican after British prosecutors abandoned the case.
David Jordan (pictured) was accused of trying to kill a member of the Crown forces in May 2008 in an attack later claimed by the breakaway ‘Real IRA’, but the case was withdrawn during a hearing in Strabane this week.
Last month Mr Jordan was appointed as the first chairman of newly established anti-agreement political party Saoradh - which is Irish for liberation.
Mr Jordan, who denied any part in the 2008 attack, said he was previously questioned about it eight years ago and released without charge. He described the decision to charge him as “vindictive” .
Restrictive bail conditions imposed on Mr Jordan included a ban on having a mobile phone or accessing the internet. He was also ordered to report to the PSNI daily, abide by a curfew and wear an electronic tag.
He described the timing of his arrest as “suspicious”.
“It put me off the road for ten and a half months,” he said. “I feel it is part of a campaign on the part of the British to stabilise the six counties.
“Any vocal opposition to the status quo in the six counties is met by internment by remand and stringent and draconian bail conditions.”
Meanwhile, pressure is growing for the release of Derry political activist Tony Taylor. Protests are due to take place in Dublin and Glasgow on Saturday, October 29 by anti-internment groups in both countries.
In March this year, Mr Taylor was arrested while on a family outing in Derry following order for his internment by then Direct Ruler Theresa Villiers, who claimed he was a risk to the public. He has been held at Maghaberry prison since then without charge or trial.
This week, prominent Derry priest Fr Paddy O’Kane lent his support to the campaign for Taylor’s release.
“The case simply boils down to this,” he wrote. “They should either charge him or release him. The fact is however they are in no rush to do so and seem quite happy to simply sit on their hands and keep Tony locked up. That is where the injustice lies.”
Sinn Fein has also renewed its calls for the release of the Derry man. In a recent meeting with the current Direct Ruler James Brokenshire, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness said he told him the continued detention of the Derry man was “unacceptable” and made it clear that, in the absence of due process, he should be “released immediately.”