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Priest asked to chaperone drugs accused at daughter’s christening in Co Armagh

Dungannon Court

A priest has been asked to provide a written assurance that he will act as a chaperone for a accused drugs dealer as he attends his baby’s christening in Co Armagh.

Gabriel Palko, 22, of Ridgeway Manor, Moy was arrested following a police raid at his home on January 18.

A package was recovered during the search containing a combination of pure and mixed cocaine worth a street value of £100,000.

During police interview, the Romanian national, claimed he was trafficked to Northern Ireland six years ago by drug lords, and remains fearful to this day.

He claims that he was asked to hold a package, but without looking inside, he knew it contained a substantial amount of drugs.

At Dungannon Magistrates’ Court, defence counsel were making an application for compassionate bail, if only to attend his daughter’s christening next month.

Defence stated that a priest was willing to act as a chaperone, however, police objected to the application for fear of interference of witnesses and that they could not protect against current threats, emanating from Portadown.

Palko wished to visit the Moyraverty area in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

District Judge John Meehan said he would grant a short release if he could have written assurances from the priest.

The application is to be decided next week.

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