20 January 2006

Murder cases sent to appeal court

BBC

A Sinn Fein assembly member and a Derry journalist have had their convictions for murder referred to the Court of Appeal.

Raymond McCartney and Eamonn MacDermott were convicted in 1979 of the murder of RUC detective constable Patrick McNulty.

Mr McCartney was also convicted of murdering DuPont managing director Jeffrey Agate the same year.

The appeals are not expected to come before the courts until next year.

Both men denied any involvement in the murders and said they were brutalised in police custody and that confessions were fabricated.

Detective Constable McNulty was shot by the IRA as he left his car for servicing at a garage on Strand Road in the city.

A week later, Mr Agate was shot dead by the IRA outside his Talbot Park home.

Mr McCartney spent 17 years in prison. During that time he became the IRA's officer commanding in the Maze and spent 53 days on hunger strike.

Eamonn MacDermott spent 15 years in prison and has worked for the Derry Journal for the last ten years.

Both men took their convictions to the Criminal Cases Review Commission four years ago.

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