BBC to name Omagh bomb suspects

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The Independent Online

The BBC is to name those believed responsible for the Omagh bombing.

The BBC is to name those believed responsible for the Omagh bombing.

Several suspects - though not all the 87 questioned by detectives - will be revealed on its Panorama programme on Monday.

Twenty nine people died and hundreds were injured when the Real IRA car bombed the Co Tyrone town just over two years ago.

So far, only one person has been charged in connection with the atrocity. Colm Murphy, charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion inside or outside the Irish state, is expected to go on trial in Dublin next year.

In the programme Panorama reporter John Ware investigates the actions of a number of individuals in the border counties of the Irish Republic.

The BBC said: "Each has yet to explain their movements on the day of the bombing and in each case they have failed to answer detailed questions about their movements on the day of the bombing.

"In each case they have failed to answer detailed questions about their connection with mobile phones which were tracked into and out of Omagh on the day of the bombing."

The suspects have also failed to explain their connection to phones linked to other Real IRA bomb attacks, said the BBC.

Panorama said it had uncovered documents and secretly filmed the suspects during a detailed investigation covering several months - some are confronted at their homes.

RUC acting Assistant Chief Constable Eric Anderson, who is heading the hunt for the mass killers, told the Omagh inquest earlier this week that police knew who was responsible for the bombing but did not have enough evidence yet to charge them.

During programme RUC Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan appeals for more people to come forward with information.

"Sadly up to this point we haven't been able to charge anyone with this terrible atrocity but we'll not rest until we do.

"We need the final pieces fitted into this jigsaw in terms of evidence ...but our intelligence is very precise."

Sir Ronnie told the programme there must be a whole range of people - associates, even friends - "people shocked to the core by this atrocity who have vital pieces of information as to the activity of those who were involved in this atrocity.

"And those people, if given encouragement, might just exercise their judgment properly and come forward."

Tony Hall, BBC's head of news, said: "The decision to name the suspects is right, and has been taken after carefully considering the legal implications.

"We are most thankful to the families of the victims and the police who have contributed to the programme, and we hope that broadcasting our investigation will result in new evidence coming to light."

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