Failures in ‘Craigavon Two’ judgement outlined

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A lawyer for one of two men convicted of an IRA action in March 2009 has raised fresh concerns about the case.

John Finucane was speaking at an event organised by the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign as part of Feile an Phobail, the West Belfast festival, on Friday.

A PSNI man was shot dead by a Continuity IRA sniper as he answered an emergency call in Craigavon. Two Craigavon men, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton, are both serving lengthy prison sentences after being convicted of the attack under ‘joint enterprise’ laws.

Prosecutors have never been able to attribute a role to either man, who both deny they played any part in the attack.

Other speakers at the event included members of English based campaign group Jengba – Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association – and academic Kevin Hearty, who spoke about policing in the north.

During the event Mr Finucane (pictured), who represents John Paul Wootton, said that “if the judge isn’t sure what John Paul did then I don’t think he can be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of a plan to murder a police officer.

“The role has never been described,” he said. “The judge made reference at the trial that it was some sort of logistical support after the event.

“At the appeal that changed to some type of logistical support either before or after.

“I don’t think you need to be a lawyer to have concerns that is exceptionally vague.

“Again it ties John Paul into an act, a conspiracy which really there is very little evidence for.”

Mr Finucane is a son of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane who was murdered by loyalists in collusion with the British Crown forces in February 1989.

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