Former RUC officers accused of perverting course of justice

Two former RUC detectives are to stand trial accused of perverting the course of justice in an investigation into the killing of a soldier in Londonderry.

John McGahan, 71, and Philip Noel Thomson, 64, denied the charges.

The charges relate to statements taken during an investigation into the murder of Lt Steven Kirby, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, in February 1979.

Four teenagers were charged with the murder. They became known as the 'Derry Four' after they skipped bail.

Gerry McGowan, Michael Toner, Stephen Crumlish and Gerard Kelly went to the Republic of Ireland.

The four men have always protested their innocence and almost 20 years later, all charges against them were dropped.

Their treatment by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was investigated by the Police Ombudsman and in 2012 the matter was referred to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

The retired detectives, whose addresses were given as PSNI headquarters, Knock Road, Belfast, were released on continuing bail.

The judge said their trial was expected to start later this year and could last up to three weeks.