John Downey: Double murder accused remanded in custody

John DowneyImage copyright PAcemaker
Image caption John Downey appeared earlier than Omagh Magistrates Court on Saturday

A 67-year-old man has been remanded in custody, charged with the murders of two UDR troopers, after being extradited from the Republic of Ireland.

John Downey appeared earlier than Omagh Magistrates Court on Saturday.

Downey was first detained in the Republic of Ireland in October 2018 beneath a European arrest warrant.

He fought extradition however misplaced his most up-to-date attraction, and handed himself in to Gardaí (Irish police) on Friday.

Downey is needed by prosecutors in reference to the murders of UDR troopers Alfred Johnston, 32 and a father of 4, and James Eames 33, a father of three.

Both have been killed in a bomb assault in Enniskillen in 1972.

Mr Downey can be accused of aiding and abetting an explosion.

A crowd of supporters, together with Sinn Fein representatives, gathered outdoors the courtroom forward of the listening to.

‘Flight threat’

A Detective Chief Inspector instructed the courtroom police could be objecting to bail as they considered Mr Downey as a flight threat.

He pointed to the defendant’s repeated makes an attempt to attraction the extradition order.

“The police view would be the defendant is reluctant to face justice,” he stated.

In 2013, Mr Downey was charged with murdering 4 Royal Household Cavalry males in a bombing at London’s Hyde Park in 1982.

The case dramatically collapsed after it emerged the defendant had a letter of assurance from the previous Prime Minister Tony Blair that he was not actively needed by the authorities.

Image copyright PAcemaker

In courtroom on Saturday, the Detective Chief Inspector stated that following the collapse of the Hyde Park bombing trial in 2014, the households of these killed in the incident had launched civil proceedings in opposition to Mr Downey.

He instructed the courtroom that Mr Downey subsequently transferred belongings together with land from his title to his spouse’s title.

A solicitor appearing for the defendant stated his consumer had handed himself in to Gardaí by settlement and had totally complied with earlier bail circumstances in 2013 and 2014.

‘Long and protracted’

He described the land transfers as a “red herring”, and stated his consumer was a person of sick well being.

Judge Michael Ranaghan stated he envisaged a “long and protracted” authorized course of forward.

But stated he discovered the defendant did pose a flight threat and so bail was refused.

The choose instructed Mr Downey he can attraction his determination to the High Court, earlier than ordering him to look once more in courtroom on the 25 October.