North Belfast family accuses judiciary of bias

The family of a north Belfast man who has spent more than 16 months in prison awaiting trial has accused the judiciary of bias.

The family of a north Belfast man who has spent more than 16 months in prison awaiting trial has accused the judiciary of bias.

30-year-old John O'Hagan, a republican from the New Lodge area, has been charged with possessing documents which could be of use to paramilitaries.

The charges relate to the break-in at the Special Branch office in Castlereagh barracks in east Belfast on March 17th, 2002. The police claimed the Provisional IRA was behind the raid.

Mr O'Hagan has been refused bail five times, even though a parish priest has vouched for his character and a local businessman has offered to provide a court bond of STG£10,000.

His family and Sinn Féin said this was extremely unfair, as others facing similar and more serious charges had been released on bail.

The four people charged in connection with alleged IRA intelligence gathering in Stormont were bailed, they said, as was UDA commander Andre Shoukri, who was caught in possession of a gun and 30 rounds of ammunition.

Loyalist Jim Fulton, who is facing 64 charges, also had his bail conditions altered to allow him to attend Orange Order parades earlier this year.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.