“We are raising this case now with David Ford Justice Minister, Mr Chris Smith US Congress, the Irish Government, all interested non-governmental offices and civil liberties organisations, local political parties here and with the Court Service”

Apologies for the length of the post title, but I wanted to make sure I had included everyone…  A 25-year-old Queen’s University politics guaduate walked free from Belfast Crown Court today after the prosecution offered no evidence on charges relating to the fire-bombing of Toys R Us Boucher Road store on 1 November 2006.

 There had been a series of fire-bomb attacks at the time.  Since then, the circumstances of those “micro-organisations” appear to have changed…

As the UTV report reveals, it’s not necessarily the end of the story

However, the Belfast Recorder has agreed to hear secret legal submissions behind closed doors, from both the defence and prosecution and interested “third parties before deciding whether or not the reason behind the PPS’s decision should be made public. [added emphasis]

Earlier the judge directed a jury of seven women and five men to formally acquitted Craig of the charges.

Afterwards defence QC Greg Berry, who only hinted at the reason behind the prosecution’s mysterious decision, said Craig and his defence team wanted to publically expose the reason to drop the case.

Apparently the reason is contained in a “letter …. dealing with confidential information“, which at this stage cant be made public.

Mr Berry said the matter identified had come about following what he described as a “fairly tortuous disclosure process” whereby the prosecution is bound to provide information to the defence.

Judge Burgess, who agreed to hold the ‘in camera’ hearing next month, following the mid-term break, said that “unless and until an order is made by the court that information …. remains cloaked in confidentiality“.

Compared to the QC, afterwards the defendant’s solicitor was less reticent

Niall Murphy, of Kevin Winters and Company, said: “When our client made his defence in crown court by means of a defence statement, he made a very particular defence.

“The defence was that he insisted that another individual, who cannot be named for legal reasons, commissioned, prepared and instigated this attack for which our client was charged.

“Our client has always maintained that the other individual is an agent of the British security services who has deliberately attempted to frame our client for this crime and worryingly therefore this raises the spectre of state-sponsored terrorism.”

When asked if he was alleging that Anton Craig had been set up by the security services, he said: “Absolutely, our client made a very explicit defence in his statement in the crown court which set out his contention that he had been the victim of a state agent who had specifically framed him for the offence for which he was charged.”

, , , , , , , , , ,

  • pippakin

    Ignoring all the obvious and very serious questions, what has any of this got to do with the US. Is Chris Smith US Congress a relative of the accused? If not what business is it of his, would Chris Smith not be better employed checking into the health and welfare of those prisoners captured by extraordinary rendition and taken who knows where.

  • Alias

    He should ask the CEO of Toys R Us to sue the British state for compensation for an act of state-sponsored terrorism against his company. That would certainly get the US media interested in the British state’s shenanigans in murdering its own citizens and burning down their places of employment.

  • Munsterview

    Now who was right about ‘silly bugger’ spook games……. and we only get to hear of the failed ones like this ?

  • pippakin

    MV

    Enjoy your moment! but, I don’t think I’ve ever denied such games happen. I am aware of the collusion angle and of the depths the Brits would not hesitate to stoop to to protect their own.

    This is a difficult one to comment on because it seems to me there are so many questions yet to be answered and quite possible, in a fair world, potential charges.

  • Well, well, more political policing, spook involvement and the framing of Republicans…..

    What happened to the Peace Process and its hollow promises about justice and equality?

  • Munsterview

    More than few of us backing the GFA would also like to see that question answered in clear and unambiguous terms ! New policing did not include continuation of the Old spooks in any GFA meeting that I attended where justice was discussed !

  • yeah sure, then we could adopt the US strategy on the war on terror and just go in and shoot the bastards.

  • in fairness your meetings were probably held on a different planet.

  • The bottom of this is obvious – someone in the prosecution dropped the ball and that night seen Mr Nice down the cinema.

  • Here we go again, another one?

    Having taken one of the Prosecutors files from the Court I made a complaint to the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggott providing him with evidence of criminal conduct within the PPS, Here is my complaint http://www.christywalsh.com/files/MattBaggot.pdf

    The Chief Constable advises me that I should approach the culprits associates, here is the Chief Contsable response; fhttp://www.christywalsh.com/files/MBaggott_Conclusion.pdf

    Now would a rape victim or mugging victim be advised to go discuss the matter with the perpetrators associates –or would a criminal investigation be carried out?

  • Carrickmoreman

    Was Craig with the same gang as was “coerced” by the former Republican prisoner who’s case has been mentioned on here previously, and who’s initials are PM? Seems to be around the same time. Would appear the spooks were trying to set up the next generation of Republicans to be the next generation of touts?

  • Alias

    I’d prefer to see a catchy new slogan emerge from it: “Invest in the UK and UK will burn you out of it!” They could stick in on their FDI posters.

  • Dev

    It’s the toy shop that gets me. What is it with these securocrats and their hatred of children’s toys?! Or was it that they just thought that would heap extra opprobrium on the dissidents? Maybe they should frame one of them for putting a cat in the bin, that would really discredit Real IRA/Continuity IRA/People’s Front of Judea/32CSM

  • The title of this post is quite misleading as it is sliced from an even longer quote that ends “…with regards to the unjustified cost in bringing this prosecution at a time when there is a major crisis for funding within the Justice System.” Under the circumstances, what does anyone have to gain from not bringing this case to the public’s attention?

  • jtwo

    The Irish News (accurately) name Paddy Murray as the man in the middle of this.

    On a tedious point of law the people in the best position to sue are probably the landlord of the premises rather than the retailer who is leasing them.

  • aquifer

    Who knowingly walked into the store with a firebomb? Is he in jail yet?

  • Cynic

    Great to see that the Security Services are active

  • “he said: “Absolutely, our client made a very explicit defence in his statement in the crown court which set out his contention that he had been the victim of a state agent who had specifically framed him for the offence for which he was charged.””

    How inconvenient when true for it could spill a great deal of sensitive code in need of Beta Protection.

  • Rory Carr

    British spooks will have to go a long way to keep up with the entrapment skills of their Yankee cousins as this report from Democracy Now ! illustrates, highlighting, as it does, the case of the Newburg 4 (since convicted) among other gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated by the agencies of law enforcement in the Land of the Free for the purposes of heightening public paranoia in order to justify US military adventurism abroad.

  • Rory Carr

    Whoops ! Sorry. Forget to include the link. Here it is:

    http://bit.ly/arvd0f

  • tacapall

    What is new about this type of story, it happens all the time only this time the Brits got caught by the henries, seems to be a similar scenario to the Danny Morrison case, a secret letter that acquits the accused but the defense and the public are not allowed to see. This is the type of activity they have been engaged in Ireland for decades, Perfidious Albion, Irish people have grown to heed those words religiously.

  • Munsterview

    It should also be noted that this activity is by no means confined to Northern Ireland. Earlier this year, we had a case where the Southern police had for years, supported a licensed application for an international haulage contractor despite the fact that the individual concerned had been involved in several smuggling operations and had drug convictions.

    Problems only arose when the media made the event a public issue and an embarrassment for the Minister for Justice and the Government.

    Criminal associates of this individual seem to have a most unfortunate tendency to get captured on a regular basis while he drove away drove away from it all.

    We had another incident some years back where a considerable quantity of drugs were purchased from an offshore drug warehouse ship apparently by undercover gardai using a Southern Irish fishing trawler ( the owner of which had fishery fines and court appearances outstanding that mysteriously went away)

    The huge drug consignment was then left for on the side of the road outside a midlands town for collection for some days before being ‘captured’ in a major police operation. The criminals the drugs were intended for as part on an entrapment sting proved themselves cleverer than the Gardai who organized the sting and stayed away. The drug haul was later shown on TV being apparently ‘destroyed’ in an ESB furnace.

    God only knows what the farcical exercise cost in financial loss and wasted manpower.

    Custom and excise were involved in the seizure. However Custom and Excise, no shrinking violets when it comes to matters of publicity, did not record for that particular year, this particular haul, one of the largest drug hauls ever ‘captured’ in Ireland among it’s figures for drugs seized in the Twenty Six Counties.

    Why not ?

    Then there is the wee matter that many of the paramilitaries in the North involved in vehicle bombing there had sourced their cars in the Dublin area. This aspect of the operation was ‘farmed out’ to non political Dublin criminals who in turn were making the stolen vehicles available to the Police technical spooks to fit with tracking devices before the vehicles were handed over to the paramilitaries.

    Aside from the total illegality of police allowing a car they knew to be stolen and now in their custody, a ) going back into the control of a criminal who stole it, b) being used for further illegal activity in the South c) allowing the removal of stolen vehicles from the State and d) allowing these vehicles to enter a process that would lead to the destruction of this particular and other property, there is a larger questions arising regarding policing in general on this Island of Ireland.

    This must include considering other vexing questions such as State Forces South and North of the border allowing a preventible vehicle bombing to take place !

    At what stage do ‘allowing’ become facilitating and ‘facilitating’ become actual instigating ?

    This is not just silly bugger spook stuff, it is a situation in which State forces South and North of the border who are charged with protecting and saving human life are collaborating in and possibly instigating events leading to the destruction of human life.

    Policing North and South have been corrupted by the ‘Northern Situation’

    There are no indications that this situation is a cause for serious concern with the media or the general public or that it is about to change any time soon !

  • Reader

    Munsterview: This aspect of the operation was ‘farmed out’ to non political Dublin criminals who in turn were making the stolen vehicles available to the Police technical spooks to fit with tracking devices before the vehicles were handed over to the paramilitaries.
    There was a time between the IRA ceasefires when the IRA were aborting numerous car-bombing operations due to surprise roadblocks put in place by the police. At the time, the IRA chose to deal with the situation by issuing blood-curdling threats against their own people. Does the above mean that they were looking in the wrong place?
    I can’t say I share your disapproval of all that the southern security forces did to interfere with terrorist activity.

  • Munsterview

    The focus and trust of my submission was that Southern Police had possession of cars that had been stolen by criminals who were either paid informers or people that these same guards had other ‘arrangements’ with. These stolen cars in garda possession were then fitted with tracking devices and returned to the possession of criminals, who in turn passed these cars on to republican militants for use in bombings.

    This meant that the Gardai knew at all times where these cars were including when and where they were fitted with explosives and by what route they were conveyed to the North. Are we to believe that they did not share this knowledge with their Northern police colleagues?

    When Police have such a close working association with criminals self interest can quickly supersede ‘security’ and the law enforcers become serial law breakers. Add in a situation where Law Makers such as for Fianna Failure Minister for Justice are themselves corrupt law breakers who had to resign office and the magnitude of the problem begins to manifest.

    This abuse of the system for monetary and promotional rewards was taken to it’s logical conclusion and indeed also collusion when some members of the donegall gardai, oblivious to the sensitivities of the actual Northern situation, had a little cottage industry in manufacturing explosive mix when they then ‘planted’ in the North for the Northern Police to find.

    Lashings of overtime all round, promotions and even commendations to all concerned, it is all there, following an extensive formal judicial inquiry, in the judges findings into the Donegall Garda corruption. ( lets see Turgon and his usual Greek chorus come out to mock on this one) How many prosecutions followed North and South ? How many dismissals ? How many lost their bloody pensions ?

    It is my personal belief and one I did not come lightly to as it is indeed of some journalists that I have discussed the issue with that the Omagh Bombings could have been prevented but people with ‘ The Big Picture’ in mind allowed it at very least to go ahead.

    How much further a part the spooks North and South played in that atrocity will have to wait for another ‘Bloody Sunday’ type enquiry and I personally am unlikely to see that in my own lifetime and I also doubt that it will ever be.

    Are these the type of people you want in charge of your security ? I certainly do not trust them or want them making such unaccountable decisions !

  • redhugh78

    Well, Well , indeed,

    Dissidents bombing campaign being run by Brit agent.

    Ask yourself the question ArdEoin, who is that trying to undermine? It’s certainly isn’t the dissidents on this evidence anyway.

  • Reader

    Munsterview: Are we to believe that they did not share this knowledge with their Northern police colleagues?
    As the old fashioned joke concludes – “I understand the situation; I don’t understand the problem”. The whole purpose of the procedure seems to be to gather information on terrorists, obstruct them, deter them, arrest and convict them. Good!
    Your conflation of an ingenious intelligence operation with a promotion scam by redneck cops is a blatant diversionary tactic.
    Would you care to comment on the Garda McCabe case? Was he one of the good guys, or was he shot by the good guys, in your view?

  • Mark McGregor

    The amount of ‘dissident’ activity British asset Paddy Murray is being connected to should be of great concern to almost everyone. The ‘state’ should not be facilitated by anyone in their attempts to hide how central one of it’s agents was to recruiting, growing, organising, planning and execution of activites within a armed republican group.

  • pippakin

    Mr Paddy Murray appears to have been ‘outed’. If he has been involved in the bombing of anything anywhere I hope he is arrested and charged with attempted murder.

    If he is not. I hope he didn’t stop to pack.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Surely a more apt title for this thread would have been ‘Touts R Us’?

  • pippakin

    Dixie Elliot

    LOL…

  • aquifer

    Munsterview

    So pleased to see you so exercised about the extra legal abuse of a few hundred pounds worth of metal and plastic.

    The generosity of Fenian outrage is astounding.

  • pippakin

    MV

    I was with you right up to: ” t is my personal belief and one I did not come lightly to as it is indeed of some journalists that I have discussed the issue with that the Omagh Bombings could have been prevented but people with ‘ The Big Picture’ in mind allowed it at very least ”

    Oh no you don’t! The creatures who made the bomb and delivered the bomb are the ones who should be hunted down and charged with mass murder.

  • Munsterview

    “………Your conflation of an ingenious intelligence operation with a promotion scam by redneck cops is a blatant diversionary tactic…….”

    I detailed just some of what is happening in the undergrowth down here : my attitude to the Irish State per se is not the issue here, either we have had monumental illegality such as I listed from State forces or we have had not.

    In short remove the messenger….. the message stands !

    The answer in regard to Donegall is every detail I quoted is a finding of fact arrived at following a lengthy, painstaking and expensive judicial enquiry.

    Why no Southern enquiry or charges for the manufacture of explosive mix ?

    Why no charges for taking these explosives and planting them in what in law is a foreign jurisdiction ?

    Why no apology from an Irish Justice Minister to the people of the North for what was done by his agents and servants ?

    Why no demand from the two main Unionist parties, the DUP and UUP for an explanation or enquiry from the South ?

    Why is the Truly Useless Vestige silent on this one since all the facts are there in the Southern Judicial Enquiry to allow parties to be identified and a court process started ?

    Reader : when I see you and others like you North and South exercising as much indignation and raw anger about all blatant law breaking abuses on this Island, that have been clearly identified as with the Donegall Judicial enquiry, then I will take your concerns serious.

    Unless and until you and others like you do then selective condemnation of events is just hypocrisy and done for polemics. Then again it is probably all part of the slow learning curve thing, of the finger wag for orange transgressions and the boot for the green ones. As I found out in slugger in the not too distant past, even some of Alliance Unionism have a way to go on that one !

  • Munsterview

    Nope : Actual viable explosive mix; the real thing !

    I am posing a reasonable question, why is it that a militant republican activist working on their own time can get ten years for making an explosive mix while a serving policeman in the pay of the State at the time of the offense do not even loose his pension, never mind facing charges for undertaking the very same exercise.

  • Reader

    Munsterview: Then again it is probably all part of the slow learning curve thing, of the finger wag for orange transgressions and the boot for the green ones.
    Unless you were suggesting the Donegall (sic) Garda Officers were Orange, where the hell did that rant come from?
    As for your other accusations of double standards, so far as I am aware, Republicans do blow up people and places, and the Garda do not. Until you can close that gap, you can’t really accuse me of double standards, can you?

  • “Well, Well , indeed,

    Dissidents bombing campaign being run by Brit agent.

    Ask yourself the question ArdEoin, who is that trying to undermine? It’s certainly isn’t the dissidents on this evidence anyway.” …. redhugh78
    21 October 2010 at 8:00 pm

    If that be so, would it be simple to reorganise the campaign with entirely different weapons and/or virtual technologies and neuro-linguistic programming methodologies, which accept neither abuse or misuse, and move in an opposite direction to spin.

  • Munsterview

    Reader

    For over forty years I and political activists like me have faced demands, pleas,calls, invitations etc to ‘play the game’. Well most of us eventually did play the game even if with grave reservations !

    The result : most of us have found the ball firmly nailed to the pitch while the goal posts are kicked all over the field!

    There is a trial of four members of the garda currently underway in Dublin. When prominent republicans are before the courts in ordinary criminal matters such as the Road Traffic Act, it is customary to have the cases listed last and have them heard in a situation where there are literally a dozen to twenty uniformed police present who have nothing what so ever to do with the case, in a show of intimidation.

    These current police charged with breaking into a flat and assaulting a teenager are attending court out of uniform with a ‘soft sell’ presentation of respectably dressed, nice young people. The media visuals could not be more different from the audio account of the activities of these same people!

    All on this island, be it North or South were not equal before the law as dealt with the police, the courts and the State, its agents and servants.

    If you want to be pedantic about this do you think that the law as set down prohibiting the unauthorized manufacture, possession of and control of explosives should be applied the same against all transgressing parties?

    Do you think in fact when a Guardian Of The Peace ( as the garda siochana are titled) violate this role and become an active law breaker as in the manufacture and control of illegal explosives, that if anything they should be dealt with far more severely than a common subversive ?

    Do you think that like what happens in the US under a similar common law system and a Constitution, that such people should loose their pension for their breech of public trust ?

    For two long there has been light touch law for the Orange on this island and the Lamh Laidir ( heavy hand) for the Green, one set of laws for those termed ‘subversives’ and another for State ‘blind eye’ sanctioned criminals.

    It is now almost a decade and a half since the ceasefire and still the same double standards that you seem to have no problem with are operative North and South !

  • Reader

    Munsterview: All on this island, be it North or South were not equal before the law as dealt with the police, the courts and the State, its agents and servants.
    What have “media visuals” got to do with being “equal before the law”? The policemen are on trial, after all, which is the point. If the “prominent republicans” you referred to were forcibly dressed in ski masks before being put in front of the court you might have a point about the garda officers turning up in court out of uniform.
    Munsterview: If you want to be pedantic about this do you think that the law as set down prohibiting the unauthorized manufacture, possession of and control of explosives should be applied the same against all transgressing parties?
    If you are referring to the Donegal Garda officers again, then by all means, throw the book at them. Maybe SF could take out a private prosecution if that is possible in your Republic. SF do seem to have funds to throw into court cases.
    But if you are referring to Garda Special Branch, you might have to define “unauthorized” more carefully.
    And your obsession with the colour “Orange” is weird. None of the above are Orange.

  • In regard with Ni, fair trials for everyone were done away in 2002 when (now) Lord Carswell set precedent allowing for ‘exceptions’ to be made with who has and who has not got the right to a fair trial, I quote;
    “… if a defendant has been denied a fair trial it will almost be inevitable that the conviction will be regarded unsafe, the present case in our view constitutes an exception to the general rule. … the conviction is to be regarded as safe, even if a breach of Article 6(1) were held to have occurred in the present case.”R v Walsh (2002) NICA 1

    This precedent has survived Judicial overview since and is now established case law in NI.