9 July 2004

Top Tory politicians may have been targeted by the PIRA in the event
of a ceasefire breakdown, a Belfast Crown Court judge has said.

Crown Court judge Mr Justice Morgan's ruling came on Friday as he
convicted John Jude O'Hagan, 31, from Lepper Street, Belfast, of
spying on senior Conservatives, the RAF and UK based
telecommunication and other important utilities.

Mr Justce Morgan said O'Hagan from Lepper Street in north
Belfast "was engaged in a targeting exercise in the early part of

He held: "If this information was being gathered for the Provisional
IRA, it would merely indicate that the organisation was still
engaging in identifying targets while it was on ceasefire.

"Such identification of targets could only be consistent with a
recognition that the ceasefire might end and action against the
targets could then be considered".

Mr Justice Morgan said that in such circumstances, the gathering of
information would be for the prupose of preparing an act of

In all, O'Hagan, released on bail pending sentence in September, was
convicted of two charges of having false identities in connection
with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism
and six charges relating to the possession and collecting of
information useful to terrorists.

O'Hagan, jailed for 16 years in 1993 for possessing explosives, but
released under the Good Friday Agreement, was arrested following the
break-in at Special Branch offices at Castlereagh on St Patrick's Day

Although police uncovered documents and a computer used to access
information useful to terrorists during a search of his home on March
30, 2002, none of the information stemmed from the break-in.

O'Hagan will be sentenced later.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?