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Police Ombudsman asked to investigate tiger kidnapping arrest

Ciaran Cunningham (right) is pictured with his solicitor Michael Brentnall outside the Police Ombudsman's Office in Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Connla Young

A former republic prisoner questioned by the PSNI about a tiger kidnapping has asked the Police Ombudsman to investigate, claiming he may have been arrested to protect an informer.

Ciaran Cunningham (41) was arrested and questioned about the £200,000 robbery in August 2011.

The tiger kidnapping which involved a woman and her 16-year-old stepson being abducted from their home in west Belfast and taken to Co Monaghan.

The woman's partner, a security van driver, was then ordered to take cash from his place of work.

Cunningham's mother, lay magistrate Delia van der Lenden and her husband Peter - a retired Dutch navy officer - were also questioned about the kidnapping.

All three were later released without charge.

Mr Cunningham has served time in connection with a Real IRA intelligence gathering operation and will graduate with a Masters degree in law from Queen's University in December.

His solicitor Michael Brentnall has asked the ombudsman to “reassess the intelligence in this matter on the basis that our client was targeted and subsequently arrested on the sole basis of intelligence and in order to protect an informant”.

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