Veteran republican Ivor Bell to stand trial in Jean McConville case

Veteran republican Ivor Bell to stand trial in Jean McConville case
Ivor Bell

A judge in Northern Ireland has ruled that veteran republican Ivor Bell from West Belfast will stand trial over alleged involvement in the 1972 murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

Bell, 79, from Ramoan Gardens in west Belfast, is charged with aiding and abetting the kidnap, killing and secret burial of the widow and mother of 10.

The pensioner, who is also charged with IRA membership, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court, where he was told the high-profile case would proceed to the Crown Court.

District Judge Amanda Henderson said: "There is a case to answer at this stage."

Bell denies all the charges against him.

Judge Henderson's decision followed a two-day preliminary inquiry at the Laganside court complex last week.

The judge said she was "satisfied" the strength of the evidence was sufficient to meet the threshold to return the accused for trial.

Throughout the brief hearing, white-haired, moustachioed Bell stood in the dock beside a prison guard, wearing a blue coat, grey and white striped shirt and grey cardigan.

On the advice of his solicitor he replied "no" when asked if he had any response or intended to call witnesses.

Jean McConville
Jean McConville


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