Former Sinn Fein councillor charged with murdering policeman

A former Sinn Fein councillor appeared in court today charged with murdering a Northern Ireland policeman.

A former Sinn Féin councillor appeared in court today charged with murdering a policeman in the North.

Brendan McConville (aged 37) denies the charge, and also denies possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life following the shooting dead of PC Stephen Carroll earlier this month.

The dissident republican Continuity IRA claimed responsibility following the death in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

There was a heavy security presence at Lisburn Magistrates' Court, with riot police standing guard and security checkpoints in the city.

McConville served on Craigavon Borough Council from 1993 to 1997.

He was charged with possessing an AKM assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition but denies shooting PC Carroll.

There was no application for bail and he was remanded in custody until April 3 at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

He has been in custody for 15 days.

Belfast's High Court ruled today that six men charged in connection with three security force killings - of PC Carroll and two soldiers - should be charged or released.

McConville nodded at friends in the half-empty court as he was led in wearing handcuffs.

He was heavily built and wore a green T-shirt.

His solicitor Kevin Winters spoke to confirm with the detective that his client denied shooting PC Carroll.

He arrived in a police car sandwiched by armoured Land Rovers.

A line of riot police wearing flak jackets filed into the old courthouse after his arrival. There were no signs of any protest.

McConville is an unemployed man from Glenholme Avenue, Lurgan, Co Armagh.

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