Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Man accused of IRA spy plot criticises police

Man accused of IRA spy plot criticises police

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Friday February 6, 2004
The Guardian

The collapse of Northern Ireland's devolved assembly was caused by a Special Branch "act of political subversion", a court heard yesterday.
Denis Donaldson, Sinn Féin's head of administration at Stormont, appeared before Belfast magistrates with Ciaran Kearney, a research officer for a west Belfast community group, and William Mackessy, a former Stormont porter.

At a preliminary inquiry, all three were charged with possessing documents useful to terrorists after a police raid on Stormont in October 2002. The raid led to claims of an IRA spy ring inside Stormont and the suspension of the administration.

But a charge originating from the Northern Ireland Office of possessing documents of a confidential or restricted nature was dropped yesterday by the prosecution.

Mr Kearney said most of the charges against him had been scrapped: "Special Branch collapsed the power-sharing executive and have endangered the Good Friday agreement. They have not been made accountable for that act of political subversion." A date for trial will be set later this year.

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