Sean McVeigh, unemployed, from Victoria Street in Lurgan was arrested in Portadown on Saturday and kept in custody over the weekend until his court appearance before District Judge Barney McElholm. The defendant faces two charges linked to terrorist offences at Glenrandel in the village of Eglinton on 18 June 2015. He is charged with attempting to murder a police officer under whose car a booby trap bomb was found attached when the vehicle was parked in his driveway.
The defendant is further charged with possessing a quantity of Semtex explosives, with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property, also on 18 June of last year.
The defendant, who has 35 previous convictions, none of them for terrorist related offences, made no reply to the charges nor did he stand up in the dock when the charges were read to him by a court clerk.
A detective constable in the PSNI’s Major Investigations Team told the court that she believed she could connect the defendant to both charges and to the evidence in the case.
Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan said he was not applying for bail at this state.
“There is an issue in relation to the connection. The defence case is that the prosecution are missing essential ingredients to connect the defendant to the charges”, he said. “He is charged with two offences.
“The basis of the evidence is that low levels of RDX were detected on clothing taken from the defendant after his arrest in the Republic of Ireland.
“Crucially no evidence has been adduced in relation to the conclusions of the low level RDX detection, therefore there is no forensic evidence against him.
“Another missing ingredient is there is no CCTV evidence. The prosecution are relying on CCTV in relation to car the defendant had been apprehended in in the Republic of Ireland but there is no factual evidence of the vehicle having been seen in Eglinton.
“There is no forensic evidence, no VIPER (Video Identification Period Electronic Recording) evidence, no DNA evidence linking the defendant to Eglinton.
“No bail application is being made because the defence has not disclosure of the conclusion of the expert’s report.
“The P.P.S. are relying on its findings and I am seeking an adjournment until that matter is resolved so that a proper and informed bail application can be made,” Mr. Corrigan told the court.
The District Judge said anything which the prosecution had at this stage should be disclosed to the defence. He then remanded the defendant in custody until 16 May when a contested video link bail application will be made.
Mr. McElholm said he wanted the PPS disclosure to be made to the defence prior to the bail application being made.