David Black murder suspect to learn about extradition next month

Pacemaker Press 16-09-2016: 
Damien McLaughlin leaves Laganside Court on Friday, Charged in connection with the murder of  prison officer David Black  who was shot dead while driving to work in Maghaberry Prison in 2012.
Picture Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 16-09-2016: Damien McLaughlin leaves Laganside Court on Friday, Charged in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black who was shot dead while driving to work in Maghaberry Prison in 2012. Picture Pacemaker

A suspected dissident republican from Ardboe will hear next month whether he is to be extradited to Northern Ireland in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black, a court has heard.

Damien McLaughlin (41), of Kilmascally Road absconded from his bail address in west Belfast last November and went on the run.

He was due to stand trial in February this year charged with aiding and abetting the murder of prison officer David Black in November 2012.

He is further accused of belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA, and possessing an article, namely a Toyota Camry car, in preparation of acts of terrorism.

During a review of the case at Belfast Crown Court, a prosecution lawyer told Mr Justice Colton: “The accused is facing extradition from Dublin to Northern Ireland.

“The matter was heard by Judge (Aileen) Donnelly. We understand the proceedings took place in Dublin on July 26, 2017 and she will deliver her ruling on October 20 this year.’’

Mr Justice Colton agreed to adjourn the case which will be reviewed on October 27 following the Dublin extradition ruling.

McLaughlin’s disappearance only came to light in January this year at the same court when a prosecution lawyer asked for his bail to be revoked after he could not be found at his bail address in west Belfast.

The lawyer said McLaughlin failed to sign with police in November.

Following a massive cross border manhunt, McLaughlin was eventually arrested on March 2 this year on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issed by the PSNI.

He was detained by an armed Garda response unit while walking along a street in Ramelton, Co Donegal, en route to Letterkenny.