Ireland: Judge denies bail for John Downey charged with 1972 murder of two soldiers - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland Judge denies bail for John Downey charged with 1972 murder of two soldiers

16:20  12 october  2019
16:20  12 october  2019 Source:   thejournal.ie

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Hyde Park bomb suspect John Downey will appear in court this morning charged with murdering two soldiers in 1972 . The 67-year-old handed himself in to police in the Republic of Ireland on Friday after losing an appeal to challenge his extradition to Northern Ireland.

John Downey , who was wanted over the murders of two Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers in 1972 , was extradited to the UK after being arrested in the Republic of In 2013, Downey was charged with murdering four Royal Household Cavalrymen in a bomb attack in London's Hyde Park in 1982.

  Judge denies bail for John Downey charged with 1972 murder of two soldiers © Reuters

A MAN BEING prosecuted for the murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland has been refused bail.

John Downey, accused of the murders of two Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers in August 1972 and a further explosives charge, was extradited to the UK after being arrested in the Republic of Ireland.

The soldiers died in a car bomb attack in Co Fermanagh.

John Downey et al. in a car: Downey who is facing prosecution for the murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland arrives at at Omagh Magistrates' Court in Omagh. © Nial Carson PA Wire PA Images Downey who is facing prosecution for the murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland arrives at at Omagh Magistrates' Court in Omagh. Lance Corporal Alfred Johnston – a father of four – and father-of-three Private James Eames died when a device exploded in a car they were checking on the Irvinestown Road, Cherrymount, Enniskillen.

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John Downey , 67, is accused of murdering two part-time British soldiers in 1972 . A suspected IRA bomber accused of murdering two British soldiers in 1972 has been denied bail after 'The PSNI investigation into these murders remains active.' In 2013, Downey was charged with murdering

John Downey stands accused of killing two Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers in 1972 . In 2013, Downey was charged with murdering four Royal Household Cavalrymen in a bomb attack in London’s Hyde Park in 1982. He was tried at the Old Bailey in 2014 but the case dramatically collapsed after it

Downey handed himself in to Letterkenny Garda Station yesterday after he lost an appeal to challenge his extradition in July this year.

The 67-year-old appeared at Omagh Magistrates’ Court this morning in front of District Judge Michael Ranaghan.

Dressed in a white shirt and blue jumper, Downey appeared in the dock flanked by a police officer, while his family sat in court and gestured to him.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell told the court: “Police object to bail for the defendant on the grounds that he is a flight risk.

“The defendant did not consent to be extradited and appealed to High Court in Dublin.”

Caldwell went on to list the number of hearings Downey had gone through to fight extradition in the Republic of Ireland, before stating:

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John Downey , who was wanted over the murders of two Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers in 1972 , was extradited to the UK after being arrested in the Republic of Ireland. He handed himself in on Friday after he lost an appeal to challenge the extradition in July this year. We’ll tell you what’s true.

Hyde Park bomb suspect John Downey can be extradited from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland to face charges over the murder of two soldiers in 1972 , a judge has In 2013, Downey was charged with murdering four Royal Household Cavalrymen in a bomb in London’s Hyde Park in 1982.

In light of all of this, police are of the view the defendant doesn’t want to face trial in Northern Ireland.

a person standing next to a fence © Nial Carson

Samuel Magee QC, for the prosecution, said Brexit could also pose a challenge in the case.

He told the court: “Mr Downey has challenged extradition all the way.

In police custody last night we got the defendant’s passport which he brought with him, however, he could easily leave and go to the Republic and with all the uncertainty around Brexit, that could frustrate the justice process.

But Downey’s barrister Michael Duffy said the accused is not a flight risk as he has nowhere else to go.

John Downey, 66, arrives for a court hearing in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA) © Niall Carson John Downey, 66, arrives for a court hearing in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA) He told the court: “First of all, this is a 67-year-old man, he’s married with children, there are no issues in relation to this man not complying with all conditions.

“There’s nowhere this man can go, his family are grounded where he lives, and has lived all his married life, he is a man of ill health with chronic conditions, and that should be taken into consideration.

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IRA suspect John Downey can be extradited from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland to face charges over the murder of two soldiers in 1972 , a judge has ruled. In 2013, Downey was charged with murdering four Royal Household Cavalrymen in a bomb in London's Hyde Park in 1982.

John Downey was arrested at his Donegal home earlier this month. The extradition hearing for John Downey , who is wanted in Northern Ireland in relation to the murder of two British soldiers in 1972 In 2013, Mr Downey was charged with murdering four British soldiers in an IRA bomb in London's

“There is no evidence the accused has committed any actual act in the 47 years since the alleged crime.”

Duffy added that by appealing against his extradition, Downey was justifiably engaging with the legal process.

Ranaghan agreed, adding: “Human rights are there for a reason.”

Duffy concluded any trial would be a lengthy and complicated one, adding it would be an “affront to justice” not to grant bail.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Scenes outside Omagh Magistrates' Court © PA Wire Scenes outside Omagh Magistrates' Court Ranaghan took a recess in his chamber for several minutes before making his decision, and then said: “This is far from straightforward.

“There are a number of matters that point toward granting bail, I have considered Mr Downey’s age and health, and the strength of the evidence.

“This will be a long and protracted matter with numerous pretrial issues.

“On the other side of the coin, the charge couldn’t be more grave.

“I am conducting a risk assessment here in the circumstances, and I find he is a flight risk, and so I do refuse bail.

He told Downey he has the right to appeal against that decision.

A large crowd had gathered outside the town centre courthouse in support of Downey, including Sinn Fein MP for the area Orfhlaith Begley and a number of former and current Sinn Fein representatives including ex-MP Pat Doherty.

Man wanted over murder of two soldiers in N Ireland extradited to UK

  Man wanted over murder of two soldiers in N Ireland extradited to UK John Downey’s trial for the IRA’s Hyde Park bombing collapsed in controversy five years ago.Downey handed himself in on Friday, after he lost an appeal to challenge the extradition in July this year. Irish police released a statement on Friday evening, which said: “An Garda Siochana arrested a male in his sixties earlier today 11 October 2019. “This male has been extradited to Northern Ireland in accordance with an EAW (European Arrest Warrant) issued by the PSNI.

Two years ago Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service announced that it had decided not to "Particular consideration was given to Soldier B's ill health, regarding which an updated medical The man, referred to as Soldier F, is also being charged with the attempted murders of four others shot

John Downey is wanted in NI for suspected involvement in the murder of two soldiers . Mr Downey is facing extradition over the murder of two UDR men in Enniskillen in 1972 . The judge subsequently changed his bail conditions to 30,000 euros from a single source plus 5,000 euros (£4

After the hearing, Downey was transferred from the court to a waiting police van.

Crowds shouted support for the accused, before a scuffle ensued between them and police officers after PSNI had attempted to move supporters and the press from the road.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Sinn Fein MP Orfhlaith Begley remonstrates with a PSNI officer after John Downey was taken from Omagh Magistrates' Court © Niall Carson Sinn Fein MP Orfhlaith Begley remonstrates with a PSNI officer after John Downey was taken from Omagh Magistrates' Court

Downey was arrested at his home in Donegal in October last year under a European Arrest Warrant after authorities in Northern Ireland determined they had sufficient evidence to charge him with the murders of Johnston, 32, and Eames, 33.

In 2013, Downey was charged with murdering four Royal Household Cavalrymen in a bomb attack in London’s Hyde Park in 1982.

He was tried at the Old Bailey in 2014 but the case dramatically collapsed after it was revealed he had received a written assurance from former prime minister Tony Blair’s government that he was not actively wanted by the authorities.

The letter was allegedly issued under the terms of the controversial On The Runs (OTRs) scheme.

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