Witness in Omagh bomb case retracts evidence
Saturday 12 January 2002
A crucial prosecution witness in a case involving the Omagh bombing retracted his evidence suddenly yesterday, saying he had testified under pressure from Irish police.
Colm Murphy is on trial at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin on charges of conspiring to cause an explosion in August 1998, when a Real IRA bomb attack killed 29 people in the Co Tyrone town of Omagh.
Yesterday, Patrick Terence Morgan, a witness in the trial, indicated that he wished to withdraw evidence that Murphy had borrowed his mobile phone the day before the bombing.
The court was told that Mr Morgan, who is Mr Murphy's second cousin and was a bricklayer working for the accused's construction firm at the time of the bombing, had been on medication.
Mr Morgan told the court when he was recalled to the witness box that he had made a statement and later given evidence after Irish police put pressure on him. He said: "I can't sleep or live with myself for saying I gave the phone to him. I had to get it off my conscience. I told a lie."
Claiming he was threatened by police, he added: "I was put under pressure, they wanted evidence that I gave Colm Murphy the phone, which is not true. I did not give him the phone at all. It was in the van."
It had been alleged in court that Mr Murphy had given Mr Morgan's telephone, together with his own, to an associate of a high-ranking Real IRA figure. Both phones were said to have been used during the operation.
Mr Murphy is the only person to face charges connected with the Omagh bombing. Some weeks ago, a controversy broke out in Northern Ireland when it was alleged that the Royal Ulster Constabulary had not investigated properly the bomb attack, which is regarded as one of the worst incidents of the Troubles.
The Murphy prosecution has not gone smoothly. Two months ago the court ruled, after listening to expert witnesses, that interview notes submitted by a detective had been altered and that the officer was "guilty of patent falsification".
A judge described the conduct of two detectives as outrageous, saying they had been involved in persistent lying under cross-examination. The trial continued after the court ruled there was no evidence that other police interrogators were involved in falsification.
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 5 Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam's history
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Teacher Required We are curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 5 Primary Teaching positionRands...
£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...