Deputy First Minister’s brother-in-law charged in abduction case

As the BBC report, and UTV mention, a man in his 40s is due to appear in court charged with two counts of unlawful imprisonment, grievous bodily harm and possession of a firearm in relation to the abduction and assault of a couple on Monday when the 42-year-old man was shot in both ankles. Another man has been released without charge and a third man is still being questioned by police. However the Irish News identifies the man charged as Mervyn Marvin Canning.. brother-in-law of the designated Deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness.. From the Irish News[subs req]Adds Irish News got the name slightly wrong.

Mervyn Marvin Canning, of Glendara in Derry’s Brandywell, is charged with two counts of unlawful imprisonment, two counts of grevious bodily harm with intent and two counts of possession of a firearm with criminal intent.
Mr Canning, a brother of Mr McGuinness’s wife Bernie, is in his forties.
Nationalist and republican sources in Derry last night stressed that Mr Canning never had any involvement with the republican movement.

Adds Court detail from the Belfast Telegraph report

Outside court today, members of the public pushed and jeered press photographers and a cameraman as Canning was being taken out of a prison van.

Unruly scenes unfolded inside the Magistrate’s Court when Canning’s case arose, leading resident Magistrate Barney McElholm to issue the stark warning: “If there are any further disturbances in this court I want those responsible arrested.”

Dressed in a white checked shirt and trousers, Canning appeared calm, smiling and waving to supporters as he was led into the dock, handcuffed to a court official. A detective constable told the court he believed he could connect the defendant to the charges.

Under questioning from defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott, the officer agreed that over the course of seven interviews, Canning had consistently denied the charges against him.

The officer also confirmed to the court that the evidence against Canning was “of an identification nature”. Canning was remanded in custody until May 24 to reappear in court in Derry via video link from Maghaberry Prison. He will apply for bail tomorrow.

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