22/05/2008

Link To Nairac Killing Alleged

More than three decades after the shocking killing of undercover British Army Officer, Captain Robert Nairac in south Armagh, a man has appeared in court charged in connection with the murder - and been released on bail until a further appearance in July.

Kevin Crilly, 57, was charged with kidnapping and falsely imprisoning Captain Nairac.

Mr Crilly was arrested on Tuesday in the village of Jonesborough, South Armagh many years after six men were convicted for their part in the killing, including three for murder.

While the PSNI is understood to be in discussion with US authorities on the possibility of extraditing two other suspects who have long since fled the country, the court heard today that hairs that could be traced to the victim were discovered the defendant's family car.

Today, Newry Magistrates' Court was told by a police officer, Detective Sergeant Colin Brown that: "The person he conveyed to a field has been convicted of carrying out the murder in that field."

He added: "We can link him to that vehicle, that is the vehicle that Captain Nairac was abducted and imprisoned in."

However, Kevin Crilly denies all charges but admits being in the Three Steps Inn in Dromintee, South Armagh, on the night of the abduction.

Nairac was working undercover for an army unit known as 14 Intelligence Company.

Aged 29, the officer was captured by the IRA in May 1977 and then taken across the border into a forest in the Irish Republic and shot dead. His body was never recovered.

Two years after his murder, the Queen approved the award of the George Cross to the British soldier.

(BMcC)

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