Northern Ireland

Video clips allowed in Continuity IRA rally trial

YouTube clips allegedly showing a Tyrone man at a dissident republican gathering can be used as evidence at his criminal trial, a court has ruled.

Aidan Quinn, 24, pleaded not guilty to assisting in managing the meeting at Edendork, Dungannon, in March 2008.

A trial judge had ruled that two video clips on which the prosecution case depended were inadmissible.

However, the Public Prosecution Service successfully appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan ordered that a fresh Crown Court trial should now proceed.

The court heard that the PSNI carried out an investigation into the Easter commemoration.

Two film clips from YouTube were examined during which two masked persons professing to be from the Continuity IRA made a declaration and fired two shots from a handgun.

The prosecution claimed that the man seen standing beside the masked men was Mr Quinn.

The man pictured had a document in his hand and held a microphone to the masked man making the statement.

Mr Quinn, of Aghafad Road, Pomeroy, was arrested on 9 June 2009.

He was interviewed on a number of occasions in the presence of his solicitor.

Mr Quinn claimed he was present at the commemoration in his capacity as a member of Republican Sinn Fein.

Video clips

During two interviews his solicitor intervened when Mr Quinn was asked about what could be seen on the video clips.

The solicitor said that identification from the video clips was not an issue as his client had already said he was at the event.

The court heard Mr Quinn remained silent in the face of these comments.

The Lord Chief Justice said it would be for the trial judge to determine whether it was proper to infer from the circumstances that by his silence he was accepting that the video clips demonstrated his activities in relation to the events which occurred at Edendork.