Ex-IRA chief's kidnap trial collapses

The trial of a former IRA chief, Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane, on kidnap charges collapsed today after the Special Criminal Court ruled that incriminating statements he allegedly made cannot be used in evidence.

The trial of a former IRA chief, Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane, on kidnap charges collapsed today after the Special Criminal Court ruled that incriminating statements he allegedly made cannot be used in evidence.

Brendan “Bik” McFarlane denied involvement in the violent 1983 abduction of supermarket boss Don Tidey, who was snatched outside his Dublin home and held captive for more than three weeks in a wooded hideaway.

McFarlane, aged 56, from west Belfast, who led the mass escape from the North’s Maze Prison weeks before the kidnap, walked free from Dublin’s Special Criminal Court after the prosecution withdrew the case.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions told the court the state was not entering any further evidence.

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