Nelson murder: Man on firearms charges

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The Independent Online

A man arrested by police investigating the murder of solicitor Rosemary Nelson at her home in Northern Ireland a year ago is due to appear in court today, charged with explosives and firearms offences.

The 29-year-old, who was arrested last week, will also face a charge of membership of a proscribed organisation when he appears in Banbridge Magistrates Court, Co Down, Norfolk Police said on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old Mrs Nelson, a Catholic, was killed when a bomb exploded under her car by her house in Lurgan, Co Armagh. A loyalist paramilitary group calling itself the Red Hand Defenders confessed to having planted the bomb on 15 March last year.

The team investigating the murder, headed by Colin Port, Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary, arrested the man with a woman in Hamiltonsbawn, Co Armagh, last Thursday. The woman was released without charge.

Mrs Nelson was highly unusual in adopting a crusading position following the loyalist assassination of a prominent Catholic solicitor, Pat Finucane, in 1989.

Adam Ingram, the Northern Ireland Security Minister, disclosed last month that the inquiry into the 1989 murder of Pat Finucane had cost £2.3m, and the investigation into Mrs Nelson's death £767,000.