Colombia three appear before Bogota Court

The three Irish men facing charges relating to the training of left-wing FARC guerrillas in Colombia have made their first appearance in court in Bogota today.

The three men, Niall Connolly, Martin McAuley and James Monaghan, had previously refused to appear before the court because they claimed they would not receive a fair trial and that they feared for their safety.

Spokesperson for the Bring Them Home Campaign, Catriona Ruane, said that the decision by the men to appear in court today, and to make a statement, was acknowledgement of the contribution made by the international observers in the conduct of the trial.

In his concluding statement on Monday, Prosecutor Carlos Sanchez said that since 1998 there had been an increase in terrorist violence in Colombia and that this coincided with IRA members visiting the country.

However at the end of the prosecution’s summing up on Monday evening, the legal team for the defence requested that their clients be allowed to make a statement in court, which is their right under the Colombian justice system.

Although the case is expected to conclude this week, following statements from the defence, sentencing is likely to be deferred for some weeks.

The three men were detained travelling under false passports and are accused of training FARC guerrillas in the region controlled by the Marxist group.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

25 February 2002
Omagh bomb investigators arrest three men
Three men have been arrested in the Republic of Ireland in connection with the Omagh bombing in 1998. One man in his 20s and another in his 30s were arrested in Monaghan on Sunday morning and a third man in 30s was arrested in Co Louth on Monday morning. The three men were taken to Carrickmacross Garda station to be questioned.
29 July 2003
Colombia three to appear in court
The three Irish men facing charges relating to the training of left-wing FARC guerrillas in Colombia are expected to make their first appearance in court on Wednesday.
12 January 2016
Woman Charged With Attempted Murder After Man Stabbed In Co Down
A 36-year-old woman has been charged with attempted murder after a man was stabbed in Co Down. The 54-year-old victim was stabbed in the Manor Court area in Moira on Monday. He is currently in a serious but stable condition in hospital. The woman is to appear at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
10 September 2003
Three men in court over carjacking
Three men were due to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court today in connection with the hijacking of a car on the outskirts of Belfast. A 19-year-old man and an 18-year-old man will be charged with hijacking, while a 21-year-old man will be charged with aiding and abetting the hijacking.
12 September 2014
Two Men Charged With Rape
Two men have been charged with rape, following a serious sexual assault that occurred in the Portadown area on Monday (8 September). The men, understood to be aged 20 and 24, were arrested following searches on Thursday which were linked to the assault. They are expected to appear at Craigavon Magistrates Court today.