Mr Justice Gillen had told the court that he would provide a verdict “in the not too distant future.” The BBC report that he has found Terence Davison not guilty of the murder of Robert McCartney. No word yet on the other charges or the others charged.. nor on how the Provisional IRA investigation affected the trial. Update The Belfast Telegraph reports that all the accused were found not guilty on all charges.
The judge said he realised the McCartney family would be frustrated and disappointed at his verdict, but the dead man’s memory would be ill-served by the court failing to observe the highest standards of criminal justice and the burden of proof that prevails.
And from the updated BBC report
The judge warned the three acquitted men that they could yet be brought back to court if more evidence emerges. “I have no doubt that the investigation into this crime will continue and if new evidence emerges in connection with this murder no one, including for that matter even the accused in this trial, will be beyond the reach of potential prosecution,” he added.
Robert McCartneys sister Catherine said the lack of justice lay firmly at the feet of Sinn Féin and the IRA. Speaking outside the court she said her brothers murder was an embarrassment for the British and Irish governments. Ms McCartney said she believed that the PSNI have a wealth of information on the murder but cannot turn any of it into evidence as “fear still exists and as long as it still exists, we wont get justice”.