Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Expert voice analysis not used for Newry CIRA accused pair

A voice analysis expert has not been used on MI5 covert tapes involving two Newry men accused of membership of the Continuity IRA (CIRA).

The information was revealed in a recent court hearing for Seamus Morgan and Mark Terence when the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) revealed in a report that an independent voice expert had not examined the tapes.

It was also revealed that transcripts of the tapes were not being provided to the defence teams despite their existence on paper at police interviews.

Morgan (59) and 54-year-old Terence are currently on remand along with eight others arrested in connection with an undercover police sting operation in Ardcarn Park, Newry in November last year when it’s alleged the accused were secretly recorded discussing CIRA activity.

A key element of the prosecution’s case is the use of forensic analysis said to have identified the men over three months of secret recordings conspiring to commit attacks.

The PPS has previously indicated that finances for independent expert voice analysis by Dr. JP Frenc had not been fully secured.

Both men are charged with membership of a proscribed organization while Mr Terence is further charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion.

A defence solicitor for the co-accused told the court he is at a loss as to how his clients could be kept on remand for over a year in the current situation.

“The PPS states that it will not be ready to bring its case until December.  Mr Morgan faces a minor offence that can be tried in the Magistrates court, yet we still have no decision from the PPS.  To have him on remand to December simply can’t be right,” the solicitor said.

“We are now being told that the voice analysis has never existed for these two men, which is causing some concern as they have now spend many months on remand.  The transcripts are already printed and available during interviews but not to the defence.  These men all appear to be painted with the same brush.  We need to deal with individual cases,” he added.

The prosecution told the court concerns of the voice analysis and the issuing of interview transcripts would be dealt with before the next hearing.

The case against all ten men is adjourned until 22nd July.