12 April 2006

Bank raid files 'not handed over'

BBC

Some files relating to the £26.5m Northern Bank raid have still not been handed over to the Public Prosecution Service, a court has been told.

Police tapes and transcripts still have not been received by the defence, Belfast Magistrate's Court heard.

The information emerged during an appearance by bank official Chris Ward who is charged with the robbery.

The disclosures came during a brief hearing when three men appeared in connection with December 2004's raid.

Appearing with Mr Ward, 24, from Colinmill in Poleglass, were Dominic McEvoy, 22, a builder from Mulandra Park in Kilcoo, County Down, and Martin McAliskey, 39, a self-employed salesman from Ballybeg Road in Coalisland, County Tyrone.

Mr Ward and Mr McEvoy are both charged with armed robbery. Mr McEvoy is also accused of falsely imprisoning a bank official and his wife at their home in Loughinisland in County Down.

Mr McAliskey is charged with buying and selling the van police believe was used in the robbery. All three deny the charges.

During Wednesday's hearing, the Public Prosecution Service said it still had not received a full file relating to the case and the court also heard from Mr Ward's defence solicitor, who said he was still awaiting police tapes and transcripts.

The men remain on bail and are due to appear in court again on 7 June.

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