Trio deny arms smuggling role

28 November 2009
The Irish News

British secret service agents recorded 190 hours of conversations involving three dissident republicans facing terrorism charges, Belfast Crown Court heard yesterday. The three men were arrested as part of an MI5 sting to smash an alleged gun-smuggling operation between May 2005 and June 2006.

Paul Anthony John McCaugherty (43) of Beech Court and Desmond Paul Kearns (44) of Tannaghmore Green, both in Lurgan, are denying conspiring to possess firearms and explosives.

Mr McCaugherty and Dermot Declan Gregory (41), also known as Michael Dermot, of Concession Road in Crossmaglen, also deny entering into an arrangement to make the deeds of a restaurant in Portugal available for the purposes of terrorism. (Blogger note: Restaurant located in Alvor, Portugal)

Mr McCaugherty also denies using EUR46,000 (£42,000) for the purposes of terrorism in Bruges in Belgium and in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

A pre-trial application to allow 33 security service agents to give evidence in the trial anonymously and from behind screens will be heard in February.

The trial is scheduled to start next April.

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