Unprecedented level of spying used against dissident trio accused of police murder plot.

Even their cloths were bugged

THREE leading dissident republicans charged with conspiracy to murder were subject to covert surveillance on an unprecedented scale, The Irish News has learned.

Colin Duffy, Alec McMcrory, and Harry Fitzsimmons appeared in court this week accused of paramilitary offences. No details were given of the evidence against them. However, it is understood that all three have been under a lengthy period of sophisticated surveillance with MI5 assisting the PSNI/RUC in tracking their movements. The levels of monitoring were unprecedented in scale and included the placing of tiny listening devices in items of clothing. Tracking devices were also used and open spaces – including a green in Co Armagh were Duffy (46) was known to frequently walk – were fitted with hidden spying technology. Gardai have also been assisting the PSNI/RUC as part of a cross-border crackdown on dissidents, monitoring suspects when they travelled to the Republic.

A house in Co Louth visited by Duffy and former IRA prisoner McCrory (52) is believed to have been under surveillance and fitted with listening devices. Under Home Office guidelines authorisation for ‘intrusive ssurveillance’ must be given by the secretary of state and can be granted for periods of six months at a time, providing its use is in the interests of ‘national security’. Although covertly gathered evidence has been used in the North of Ireland in the past, the monitoring surrounding Duffy is on a level never seen before. During the trial of teenager John Paul Wotton for the murder of Constable Stephen Carroll the court was told a military tracking device had been fitted to his vehicle. On Monday a workman in Craigavon, Co Armagh, found a military tracking device under the wheel arch of his van. This week Duffy, Fitzsimmons and McCrory were each charged with conspiracy to murder, conspiring to possess firearms and explosives with intent to endanger life and belonging to a proscribed organisation. McCrory and Fitzsimmons were also accused of involvement  in a gun attack on Crumlin Road in North Belfast on December 5 and possession of a firearm with intent. The offences cover a period between January 1 and December 16 this year, although Fitzsimmons (45) was only freed from prison in May after serving a jail term for the attempted kidnapping of Bobby To hill in 2004. The trio did not seek bail.

With many thanks to: Allison Morris, The Irish News.

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ANTI INTERNMENT & FREE THE DUFFY 3 PROTEST DROGHEDA!

    • Saturday
  • An Anti Internment and Free the Duffy3 protest will be held on the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda next Saturday 26th May 2-3p.mAll are welcome to attend. Bring posters and banners to highlight other Pow’s interned as wellOrganised by Duleek Independent Republicans

Colin Duffy acquittal raised in Commons by William McCrea

William McCrea The DUP‘s William McCrea asked Mr Paterson about the acquittal of Colin Duffy
DUP South Antrim MP William McCrea has raised the acquittal of Colin Duffy during Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons

Last week, Mr Duffy was cleared of all charges relating to the attack at Massereene Barracks in Antrim in March 2009 in which two soldiers were killed.

Mr McCrea said the acquittal had caused “anger and fear” in his constituency.

Responding to the comments, Mr Duffy said he was taking legal action against the police over his prosecution.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Owen Paterson told the Commons the terrorist threat level in NI remains severe.

This means a terrorist attack is considered “highly likely”.

On the issues of the Massereene verdicts, Mr McCrea asked: “Can the secretary of state understand the anger and fear that has been felt in my constituency, and indeed throughout Northern Ireland, in light of the release of Colin Duffy, a person charged on three different occasions for the murder of innocents, yet always seems to find the get out card.

“What assurance can the secretary of state give my constituents that they are going to be safe from brutal terrorists like Colin Duffy and not be another statistic in a long line of innocent victims?”

Mr Paterson replied: “I entirely sympathise with the honourable member and his constituents’ concerns.

“We do believe in the separation of powers and this was a decision made by due process.

“I’m delighted that there was one conviction in this appalling incident… but I can assure the member that this government will bear down on all terrorists.”

Owen Paterson Owen Paterson said the terrorist threat level remains severe

MPs have parliamentary privilege when speaking during a session of the House of Commons. Mr Duffy was cleared of all charges in relation to the Massereene attack.

MaliciousResponding to Mr McCrea’s comments, Mr Duffy issued a statement through his solicitors.

It said he had instructed his solicitors to “object to the comments in the most strenuous terms and he will be making a complaint to the Committee on Standards and Privileges.”

“We are of the professional opinion that the comments represent an insult to the integrity of judicial process in this jurisdiction and serve to undermine the considered judgment of the court.

“Mr Duffy has instructed us to initiate proceedings against the PSNI and PPS in respect of his malicious prosecution and unlawful detention.”

Answering a separate question on the terrorist threat level in Northern Ireland, Mr Paterson said: “Despite overwhelming community rejection of their murderous activity, terrorist groups continue to carry out indiscriminate attacks as we saw in Londonderry last week.

“This government remains committed to countering terrorism in all its forms.”

Police believe dissident republicans were responsible for two bomb attacks in Derry last Thursday night.

The bombs exploded at the tourist centre on Foyle Street and on Strand Road, close to the DHSS office, within 10 minutes of each other

Earlier this month, a Scottish soldier found a bomb inside his car outside his girlfriend’s house in the Ligoniel area of north Belfast.

The soldier found the device while cleaning the car before going to pick up a child from school on 5 January.

Duffy believes ‘DNA planted in car’ 21 JANUARY 2012, NORTHERN IRELAND

Dissidents blamed for Derry bombs 20 JANUARY 2012, NORTHERN IRELAND

Timeline of dissident activity 20 JANUARY 2012, NORTHERN IRELAND

Duffy says DNA was planted in getaway car

A man cleared of murdering two soldiers in Northern Ireland in 2009 has claimed his DNA was planted in the getaway car.

1 of 2 Colin Duffy was cleared of murder charges yesterday

Colin Duffy was cleared of murder charges yesterday
Colin Duffy led a republican protest on the Falls Road this afternoon

Colin Duffy led a republican protest on the Falls Road this afternoon
 

A prominent Republican has said his DNA was planted on a latex glove in a getaway car used in the murder of two British soldiers in Antrim in 2009.

Colin Duffy, 44, was cleared yesterday of murdering Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene army base.

Mr Duffy told a news conference in west Belfast today that the charges against him were “spurious” but refused to condemn dissident republicans.Nine News: Duffy may seek redress from British state

His co-accused Brian Shivers was handed a life sentence after a judge found him guilty of being part of the attack.

Mr Duffy said: “I am firmly of the view that my DNA arose there because it was planted. I was never in that car.

“I state quite categorically here that I had no involvement in what happened at Massereene, no involvement whatsoever, and that has been vindicated in court because there was no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.”

He said that if being a dissident meant opposing Sinn Féin‘s peace strategy then he was happy to classify himself as such.

He added that he had no questions to answer.

“I did not need to answer to the spurious evidence or so-called evidence that they were adducing at the trial,” he said.

“The decision not to give evidence was a decision that we took on the basis of my view legally of how the case was going.”

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Brian Shivers guilty of Massereene murders

Brian Shivers has been found guilty of murdering two British soldiers outside Massereene Barracks in 2009 – co-accused Colin Duffy was earlier found not guilty.

Brian Shivers found guilty, Colin Duffy acquitted

Brian Shivers found guilty, Colin Duffy acquitted
2 of 2 Getaway car was found

 
 

Brian Shivers has been found guilty of murdering two British soldiers outside Massereene Barracks in Antrim in 2009.

Prominent dissident republican Colin Duffy was earlier acquitted of the murders.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar from London and Mark Quinsey from Birmingham were killed outside Massereene Barracks on 7 March 2009.

Four others, including two pizza delivery men, were seriously injured in the attack, for which the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

Mr Duffy, 44, and Shivers, 46, denied having any involvement in the attack.

The evidence against Shivers centred on DNA which was discovered on a mobile phone and matches linked to the getaway car.

During his trial his lawyers described him as an “unlikely terrorist”.

The 46-year-old, who has cystic fibrosis, told the court he had a limited life span and had been told by a doctor that he only had a few years left to live.

Handing down the judgment in Belfast Crown Court Mr Justice Anthony Hart said Shivers lied about his actions on the night of the attack.

The judge said the presence of his DNA on the Nokia phone was further evidence of his involvement in the getaway car.

Shivers was sentenced to life in prison.

Colin Duffy acquitted

Mr Duffy, from Forest Glade in Lurgan in Armagh, was cleared of all charges by Mr Justice Anthony Hart this morning.

Judge Anthony Hart told the court he was satisfied that Duffy’s DNA was found on a latex glove tip inside the car – and on a seat buckle – but he said the prosecution had failed to link the defendant to the murder plot.

He said “all the evidence” suggested Mr Duffy was present in the getaway car wearing latex gloves at some point between the time it was bought and the time it was used in the attack.

But the judge said that suspicion that the car was going to be used in a criminal act was not enough to convict Mr Duffy.

The judge described the attack as “ruthless and determined”. He said one of the gunmen had reloaded his weapon at the scene and that a number of the victims were shot as they lay injured on the ground.

Following Mr Duffy’s acquittal, Mr Justice Hart cleared the court of a number of cheering supporters.

Before the judgments were handed down, the parents of one of the two murdered soldiers spoke of their son’s love for Northern Ireland.

Speaking from their home in England earlier this week, Mehmet and Geraldine Azimkar said Patrick wanted to build a life there when his time in the military was over.

The Azimkars said their son had wanted to become a carpenter and joined the British Army in the hope of gaining skills in a trade.

Statement from 32CSM DERRY

The verdict delivered in the trial of Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers yesterday is an indictment of British courts in Ireland. This trial from the outset was a show trial attempting to secure a guilty conviction against Republicans. The failure of the PSNI to apprehend those who were involved in the attack led them to try and frame these two men. We welcome the fact that Colin Duffy was a…cquitted as it was the only realistic verdict to reach given the total lack of credible evidence. However Brian Shivers, a man with a terminal illness has now been made a scapegoat for the failure of the PSNI. The sentence imposed upon Brian is in effect a death sentence and a gross violation of the due process of justice. Both these men were denied the right to trial by a jury and instead had to face the prospect of a British judge being the sole authority. These courts are now being used as a tool of repression against all those who take a stand against the status quo.The internment of Marian Price on trumped up charges continues and the prisoners continue to be beaten and harassed by prison officers before their appearances in these diplock courts. We urge all Republicans and human rights advocates to stand behind Brian and his family, and those who remain interned in Maghaberry. To remain silent in the face of such violation of human rights is to acquiesce to it.

Ends

Posted on Behalf of : Derry Sceal

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