The prosecution of prominent republican Alex McCrory has been condemned as a “farce” after the former internee was found not guilty almost ten years after he was detained along with two other prominent republicans.
Mr McCrory has been at the centre of a trial which started in March 2019. He spent two years interned by remand before being bailed under draconian conditions along with co-accused Colin Duffy and Henry Fitzsimons. A judge found this week that he had no case to answer.
The five IRA-related charges against him were thrown out following a ruling made last September that the Crown’s claimed evidence, an alleged tape recording of illegal statements in Lurgan, County Armagh, was “fundamentally flawed”.
A judge said this week that no evidence existed to suggest Mr McCrory was in Lurgan on the day of the alleged recording, and accepted that this was fatal to the prosecution case.
Prosecutors sought time to consider an appeal, while the case against the other two men is set to continue.
Donegal councillor Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig hit out at the treatment of Mr McCrory and his family.
“Alex and his entire family have been held political hostages by the British state, it’s police force and judiciary,” he said.
“A decade of bombastic claims and salacious headlines crept out of a British courtroom today, not a camera or media hack to be seen nor, especially, heard.
“The British judge ruled that on the basis of all evidence presented and every obscene allowance granted to the states prosecutors, there was no evidence with which to proceed and Alex had no case to answer.
“He’d no case to answer, that we’ve known for 10 years, but who’s to answer for that case?
“Who’s to be held accountable for the 10 years robbed from his family’s life? Who’s accountable for the silence from the human rights and political classes?
“The British state, unwilling to acknowledge their misdeed, have indicated that an appeal is ‘considered’, surely a case of throwing good money after bad.
“Moreover, two men, Colin Duffy and Harry Fitzsimons, remain victims of the injustice that plagued Alex McCrory, under largely the same contrived evidence that Alex was subjected to.
“Whilst we celebrate the victory of Alex, our ‘hoorays’ are muffled by the continuing injustice meted out to Colin Duffy, Harry Fitzsimons and other Irish citizens, such as the Craigavon Two, who are victims of British injustice and interference.”