Northern Ireland

Ivor Bell to face trial in connection with Jean McConville murder

Ivor Bell Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Ivor Bell denied the charges of aiding and abetting the murder of Jean McConville in 1972

Veteran republican Ivor Bell is to stand trial for involvement in the murder of Jean McConville.

Mr Bell, 79, from Ramoan Gardens in west Belfast is charged with two counts of soliciting the murder of Mrs McConville in 1972.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Widowed mother of 10 Jean McConville was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972

The IRA kidnapped 37-year-old Mrs McConville in front of her children at her home in the Divis flats.

When asked if he had any reply to the two charges he said "no".

He was asked if he wanted to call witnesses, and again he said "no".

The district judge said that following a two-day preliminary hearing last week she was satisfied that the standard proof had been met and there was sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

Six of Jean McConville's children were in the court to hear the decision. None of them wanted to speak after the hearing.

Ivor Bell was released on continuing bail. His bail conditions were amended, and he must now report to police once a week rather than twice.

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