Canning trial gets underway

Yesterday’s Irish News reported the opening remarks at the Belfast Crown Court trial of Marvin Canning – the brother-in-law of Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness.  Canning, who has been out on bail since March 2008, faces seven charges relating to the abduction and assault of a businessman and his partner from their home in Mullingar, County Westmeath, in April 2007. 

The couple were later found in the High Park area of Creggan, Londonderry.  The man had been shot in both ankles and subsequently lost the sight of his left eye. 

Canning denies the charges.

From the Irish News report

Opening the prosecution case, Mr Hunter [QC] said that as the [up to six] men forced their way into the couple’s home, “there was shouting and roaring: ‘Where’s the €170,000?'”

During that initial attack the contractor was beaten and kicked unconscious before being forced into the back of a white van with his partner and driven to a house in Derry, where he was told he was “talking to the IRA”.

At one stage he was forced to strip and made to wear a boiler suit as he was questioned about his business by three men who threatened and beat him and stole his watch and wallet.

His partner, who had been told to lie face down on a bed, asked to use the bathroom and was forced to do so with a towel over her face while being watched by one of the kidnappers.

She was told later to remove her clothes and was made to wear what she described as a jumpsuit.

Later the couple were put back in the van and driven around for about 20 minutes before being ordered to stand by a wall.

The businessman was forced to strip for a second time and made to wear another boiler suit.

After another van pulled up some time later, he was told to get out of the van and to take off his shoes and socks and was left only in his boxer shorts.

His partner had the sleeves of her jumpsuit ripped off.

The businessman was ordered to lie down on the grass verge with his hands out in front of him before being shot in both ankles.

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