Northern Ireland

Gary Marshall has Kevin Conway murder charge dropped

Gary Marshall pictured at a previous hearing in December 2013 Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Gary Marshall pictured at a previous hearing in December 2013

A man accused of a 1998 republican murder has had the charge against him dropped.

Gary Marshall has now been charged with the kidnapping of Kevin Conway, rather than his murder, Craigavon Magistrates Court was told on Friday.

Mr Conway, 30, was found with gunshot wounds at Soldierstown Road, Aghalee, County Antrim. The killing was widely blamed on the IRA.

Mr Marshall, 45, from Ennis Green in Lurgan, was released on continuing bail

Having been kidnapped from his Lurgan home, the body of Mr Conway, a married father of four was found on farmland on 17 February, 1998, his head hooded, hands tied behind his back and shot through the head.

Detectives arrested Mr Marshall in Birmingham last December after carrying out a review of the original RUC murder investigation and the court has previously heard that he could allegedly be connected to the execution by soil and forensic fibre evidence.

A defence solicitor has previously said that Mr Marshall "vehemently denies" any involvement in the murder.

A judge said he would fix a special day for a preliminary investigation into the new charge when the case is next before the court in January next year.