In a dramatic follow-up to the ‘no bill’ application made by Stephen Murney’s legal team on Tuesday 26th November, the judge hearing the case summoned the defence and prosecution teams to a brief sitting yesterday evening (Friday 29th November).
Although he had previously stated that judgment was being reserved until December 10th, the judge announced that he was dismissing those charges relating to “items for use in terrorism”. These charges related to old band uniforms of Stephen’s and to toy guns belonging to his son – facts that had been consistently presented by the defence ever since Stephen was first charged exactly one year ago.
The charges featured heavily in every court hearing during the past twelve months as PSNI witnesses and the prosecution, constantly and without fail, portrayed these “terror” charges and the items they related to as some sort of evidence to show Stephen’s involvement in a “terrorist conspiracy”.
Far from accepting that the items were, in fact, band uniforms and toys, the prosecution continuously referred to “paramilitary uniforms” and “Uzi machine guns” that could be used in “paramilitary shows of strength”.
Tuesday’s lengthy legal submissions to the court by the defence – along with the ability to demonstrate the true nature of the items which included photographs of Stephen wearing the uniform in a band and evidence relating to the toy guns – clearly demonstrated the spurious Read the rest of this entry
Not much new, original stuff has been going up on the blog recently because I have been quite otherwise engaged. However, I should soon have a bit more time. I’m hoping to write something on last week’s BBC1 Panorama episode on the British Army murder squad that operated in Belfast in the early 1970s to assassinate IRA members. (I had hoped to get something up very quickly about the programme, but didn’t manage to.) And I’ve got a couple of reviews, promised long ago, I hope to get finished. Plus I hope to get Markievicz’s 1923 pamphlet What Republicans Stand For, promised about two years ago (ugh!), finally up on the blog. Next week I have a very full-on schedule of work-work and meetings, but the week after (starting Dec 12) should be good for doing more than re-blogging and events.
And, of course, I welcome written contributions from a socialist-republican/Marxist-republican standpoint. So if anyone else would like to write up a review of the Panorama programme, that would be great!
The two most-read pieces on the blog, on Saor Eire and the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, are now both close to 2,000 hits.