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Man allegedly part of dissident plot to kill retired police officer denied bail

A Lurgan man on remand for allegedly being part of a dissident Republican group that intended to kill a retired police officer in 2016 has been denied bail.

Ciaran Magee, 26, of Lake Street, appeared via video link from Maghaberry at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday charged with the preparation of terrorist acts.

Magee had previously been granted bail on July 7, last year, however, it was overturned just three days later.

Defence counsel claimed that this bail had been granted based on the delay in the case.

Court heard that a co-defendant in the case had already been given bail.

The defence argued that the same should be given to their client.

A date for the trial had still not been set and defence stated that this may well not occur until 2019.

A constable dealing with the case stated there were very different circumstances regarding the two defendants.

He claimed that Magee had previous for violence towards police, as he had been convicted of kicking and breaking a female officer’s ribs in March 2016.

Defence counsel opposed this by saying the defendant was present at this riot but was not charged with kicking the police officer.

Court also heard that the Magee’s car was used to transport a camera which was placed for surveillance of police and the retired officer.

The defence stated that the car was also insured in the co-defendant’s name.

The constable claimed that CCTV and police surveillance connected the defendant to the crime.

However, it was argued that the CCTV did not show Magee near the camera.

Defence counsel went further saying that his “record is irrelevant” and he has “served the equivalent of a six-year custodial sentence for a crime he has not been convicted of”.

Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy said: “I’m not prepared to let him out on bail as I do not believe he will abide by bail conditions”.

Magee is to reappear in court via video link on March 2.

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