Bank raid suspected watched for a year…

All the papers are reporting on the PSNI’s long term surveillance of Bank robbery suspect Chris Ward, went as far as Fuerteventura, where he went on holidays. The Irish Times reports (subs needed):

The court was told that the case against Mr Ward was based on his actions on December 18th and 19th last year; his actions on December 20th, the day of the raid; his original account of what happened, and a works rota. Det Insp Wright, who said he could connect the accused to the crime, told the court that surveillance would have a direct impact on at least one of these areas. He confirmed to defence solicitor Niall Murphy that Mr Ward had no criminal record and that during 60 interviews he had denied any involvement in the robbery.

This would indicate that an immense amount of material has been gathered before bringing this case to the PPS. If, this is an entirely baseless change, the PSNI will face severe criticism from its various oversight and regulatory bodies.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I am being 100% truthful here when I say I felt Ward was “guilty as hell” to coin a phrase, when I watched him during television interviews shortly after the Provo robbery. It just felt like he was rhyming off pre-planned answers to questions that he had memorised.

    If my gut feeling is correct I believe he should get sentenced to 25 years in HMP Maghaberry, where he’ll serve his time with the other post-“Belfast Appeasement” criminals in the IRA…

  • I was truly shocked by the so-called “case” which was presented yesterday. Totally and entirely circumstantial. It seems that the longest interrogation in the history of the North has yielded not a single piece of ‘hard’ evidence against Mr Ward. I reckon it’s 4/7 that he beats rhe rap…!

  • TAFKABO

    I wasn’t aware that any case had been presented, other than the one presented by armchair defence lawyers on Slugger

  • Whilst I hear what you are saying CL, we have to be as careful in this case as we have tried to be with the McCartney’s not to conduct a trial by media here.

    All that can be said with certainty is that if the police fall short at the hearing, then they will have severe credibility problems. The rest we will have to be patient with, and wait for a concrete outcome.

    But I’d add that the key mistake which may have been made by the robbers, was that they pulled off the biggest robbery in European history. The UK state cannot afford to pull resources out of this investigation anytime soon. This is going to come down to a long slow, hard grind.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Mick,
    In a liberal democracy everyone is entitled to a fair trial. I am merely giving my own, personal opinion on the subject.

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    If the police fall short at the hearing? Surely you mean when,Mick! After all that’s what happened over ‘Stormontgate’ and where’s Larry the Chef?
    And the police already have a serious crediblity problem. Some new beginning to policing!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Speaking of PSNI and PPS credibility problems the DI is reporting that one of those arrested and charged only last month is to have all the charges dropped.

    ***Scoop for Slugger***, the case against those charged around Stormontgate has just disintegrated in the High Court. All charges re this case have now been dropped.

    Seems it wasn’t as big as Watergate after all.

  • Belfastwhite

    Time to disband the PSNI methinks! To be fair to Hugh Orde he appeared almost apologetic at the time of these fake raids.

  • Concened educationalist

    Concerned Loyalist always in your case, [removed ad hominem remarks].

  • crow

    I bet there was a few hands raised when the chief inspector asked if anyone wanted some overtime in Fuerteventura.

  • BogExile

    Fuertevenrura is a Spidey hole as I found to my cost a few years ago. In my opinion anyone setting foot on the Chavvish lump of sand should immediately get 25 years for offences against good taste.

  • seannaboy

    Chairperson of Antrim GAA attacks PSNI over Casement Park raid, charges dropped in both the Northern Baank raid and Stormontgate ( which, by the way, lead to the collapse of the Executive and the sacking of head of Special Branch Bill Lowry, guest speaker at DUP Annual Conference), even Alex Attwood ( I know, I know) says that the PSNI are strectching the ( Nationalist)coomunity. Oh dear!

  • headmelter

    macswiney,
    4/7 are pretty generous odds, would you take a monkey on that?

  • heck

    the RUC haven’t gone away you know!!!

  • Crataegus

    Rob a bank and resources thrown at the case. Be a mass murderer and you get a pardon. Says all about the values of our society.

  • seannaboy

    Be a mass murderer in the pay of the British forces and you get promotion, pay rise, political office etc etc etc Says all about the values of Irish lives.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    C.E:
    Childish rant? Where did I post a childish rant?

    Another thing. Your snide remark about all my posts being opinion and not fact-based is wide of the mark. I usually back-up posts with facts when republicans find them too unpalatable and close to the truth…

  • belfastwhite

    CL

    Your original post was based on how you “felt” and your “gut feelings” not on any evidence. I hope for Mr Ward’s case you aren’t on any Jury if in the slim chance the case against him gets that far.

  • seannaboy

    belfastwhite,
    whats a jury?

  • Paul

    Someone sure as hell robbed the Northern Bank, why are the Shinners so frantic to prove Mr Ward wasn’t involved? It’s seems undeniable that the robbers had inside information, so a Northern Bank employee may well have been a participan.The two employees directly involved must be prime suspects. The police would have to investigate them, I know that much just from watching Inspector Morse. It appears one of them changed the rota to make sure he was one of the keyholders that night, are people saying that is not even slightly suspicious? He isn’t a known Republican, so what’s their beef? He might well be not guilty and he is innocent until proved guilty but there are questions to be answered. Why are the Shinners getting so excitable? Things getting a little too hot?

  • DK

    How come Chris Ward and the other bloke who got released today both have Niall Murphy as their solicitor? I don’t know enough about appointment of solicitors to know if this is creepy or normal.

  • seannaboy

    Paul, ‘things getting a little hot?’ Actually, the polar opposite – the trial has gone very cold. So, cos the PSNI do not have the proverbial clue, progressive people just sit back and let the PSNI consign quite innocent people ( charges against one of the other ‘bank robbers’ dropped today)to prison? It is this type of thought that has condemned many innocent people, like Chris Ward, to prison for many years. The recent shenanigans also proveds the ‘plus ca change’ approach of the police here.

  • Realist

    “It is this type of thought that has condemned many innocent people, like Chris Ward, to prison for many years.”

    seannaboy,

    I accept that Mr Ward is innocent, until proven guilty.

    Do you accept that if he is convicted on the charges brought before him, he is guilty?

  • seannaboy

    Realist, So everyone convicted is guilty? Even a cursory glance at the judicial history of these islands over the last thirty years or more will lie that one to rest.

  • Realist

    “So everyone convicted is guilty? Even a cursory glance at the judicial history of these islands over the last thirty years or more will lie that one to rest.”

    seannaboy,

    You didn’t answer my question…do you or do you not accept that if Mr Ward is convicted of the charges brought before him, then he is guilty?

    If not, why not?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Someone sure as hell robbed the Northern Bank, why are the Shinners so frantic to prove Mr Ward wasn’t involved?

    Perhaps they’re just doing their job and standing up for people who have been wrongfully accused. Today’s events make the PSNI look like a pile of crap, to be quite honest with you. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if all the remaining charges related to the bank robbery were thrown out.

    A big thank you to the PSNI for delivering another propaganda coup to Sinn Fein.

  • seannaboy

    Realist, no I do not accept that Chris Ward is guilty if convicted of the charges brought against him. Eamon Mc Cann said on t.v last night that after the events of the last few days that anyone who has belief in the law (sic.) here in the North is a fool. If it was not so serious I would be tempted to say that the pantomime season has started early

  • Paul Carten

    Comrade Stalin, how can you be so sure that anyone has been wrongfully accused? If you have any information on this crime you should contact the police.

  • Paul

    Sennaboy, the least you can do is wait to hear the evidence, if we ever do. Innocent until proven guilty is correct, but, innocent even if proven guilty is daft. Are the Shinners trying to argue that nobody committed this crime? Have they moved from “the IRA didn’t do it” to “nobody did it, so stop asking people awkward questions”

  • TAFKABO

    Realist, So everyone convicted is guilty? Even a cursory glance at the judicial history of these islands over the last thirty years or more will lie that one to rest.

    People get wrongfully convicted just as guilty people often go free, especially when you have a republican supporting coward as a secretary of state.

  • Realist,

    The acceptance of guilt or innocence here in the judicial sense is surely not the main topic of this debate. In light of yesterday’s ‘circus’ when Stormontgate disintegrated, there are surely increasing raesons for believing that Chris Ward may not ultimately face trial. The initial summary of ‘evidence’ at his hearing by the PSNI was entirely circumstantial and seemed very flimsy even at this early pre-trial stage. There are increasingly very serious questions about the competence of the PSNI which need to be fully addressed and answered.

  • Realist

    “no I do not accept that Chris Ward is guilty if convicted of the charges brought against him.”

    seannaboy,

    Given that (as far as we are aware) Mr Ward is not a member of any political party or paramilitary organisation, why would you think that?

    I don’t take much head of Mr Mr McCann, but I am interested in your thoughts.

    “there are surely increasing raesons for believing that Chris Ward may not ultimately face trial.”

    macswinney,

    I fully accept that. If he does, and is susequently found guilty, do you accept that?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Comrade Stalin, how can you be so sure that anyone has been wrongfully accused?

    There’s a fine line I admit between “wrongfully accused” and “up in front of a judge even though there is little or no evidence”.

    I agree with macswiney on this one. The PSNI’s case is flimsy, and there are serious questions to be answered regarding the way they conduct their investigations. It sounds like the DPP also has questions about the way they review cases before pursuing prosecution. That said, it appears that the court system is doing it’s job correctly.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    He’s as guilty as hell, just like that suicide bomber de Menezes. Experienced policemen can spot a guilty party a mile off

  • TAFKABO

    NORTHERN Bank raid suspect Chris Ward has asked to be moved to the republican wing at Maghaberry jail, Sunday Life can reveal.

    Ward (24), requested “separated” status at the top-security prison on Friday so he can be housed with IRA, Real IRA and Continuity IRA inmates while on remand.

    According to this article in the Sunday Life

    Can someone explain to me why I shouldn’t draw inferences about his connection to the republican movement from this request?

  • What about protecting his health and/or life? There would be many inmates outside of specialized groupings who would be happy to try and administer punishment to Mr Ward right now. There is little chance than anyone in the Republican groupings would want to inflict harm on him. It hardly makes him guilty by association does it? He is simply seeking refuge in the least dangerous part of the jail as he sees it…

  • TAFKABO

    It hardly makes him guilty by association does it?>/i>

    Doesn’t it?

    Seems to me that is exactly what it does.Not necessarily guilty of the bank job, for that we await the result of anytrial, but guilty of being a fellow traveller with physical force republicanism at the very least.

  • ” A fellow traveller with physical force Republicanism”. You’ve been listening to Jeffrey a bit too much I’d say… You and I can second-guess this all day long but neither you or I know the facts. Maybe he was invited into that section by them if they suspected he might get a hiding elsewhere. Who knows…?

  • TAFKABO

    The fact is that he has requested to be housed in the republican wing.
    trying to imply that this is an irrelevant detail seems to me to be denying the facts.

    Is it feasible that the republican wings are open to anyone who wants to go there?

  • So VERY bored of MOPEry

    … must keep eyelids open, must type post ….

    Purely out of interest, o bould lads of Erin, *if* the Provos *did* rob the bank, would that have been a ‘wrong’ thing for them to do? Should they hand the £££ back? And should they face any consequences for their actions?