Teen charged with Ulster officer's murder
Tuesday 24 March 2009
A Northern Ireland teenager charged with the dissident IRA killing of a policeman had an assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition — and refused to say a word to his interrogators during 13 days of questioning, a detective testified today at the defendant's first court appearance.
Court officials and police said they would not publicly identify the accused boy because he is 17.
The boy was arrested on 10 March in a working-class Catholic district of Craigavon, a day after a policeman, 48-year-old Stephen Carroll, was shot fatally through the back of the head after responding to an emergency call in the religiously divided town. He was the first policeman killed in Northern Ireland since 1998, the year of the landmark peace accord between the territory's British Protestant majority and Irish Catholic minority.
The boy is the first person to face charges following this month's surge in violence by Irish Republican Army dissidents trying to unravel the peace process. Eight other people remain in custody over the killing of the policeman and a 7 March gun attack outside a British Army base that killed two off-duty, unarmed soldiers — the first troops killed in Northern Ireland since the IRA's 1997 cease-fire.
The boy didn't speak during the brief hearing at Lisburn Magistrates Court southwest of Belfast.
His lawyer, Paddy Moriarty, said his client intended to plead not guilty to all four charges against him: murder, possessing an assault rifle and ammunition, collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists, and membership in an outlawed splinter group called the Continuity IRA.
A policeman who is part of the team of detectives questioning all of the suspects, Detective Inspector John Caldwell, testified that detectives had interviewed the defendant more than 15 times but elicited no response, just silent stares at the walls and ceiling.
"He refused to speak throughout the interviews," Caldwell said.
Typically, IRA anti-interrogation training emphasises that members under interrogation should not engage in even friendly chitchat with detectives, to avoid the risk of providing damaging information by accident.
The judge, Magistrate Rosie Watters, ordered the defendant to be held without bail pending his next court appearance on 1 April.
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final days of mother-of-two's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss