Northern Ireland news

CCRC to test documents linked to disputed conviction

Christy Cummings and his son Rory earlier this year
Connla Young

THE Criminal Cases Review Commission is set to carry out forensic tests on documents linked to the conviction of a Co Tyrone man who claims he is innocent of a hoax bomb alert.

Cookstown man Christy Cummings served almost seven years in jail after he was convicted of IRA membership and causing a hoax bomb alert.

Mr Cummings has always denied the charges and says he made no admissions during RUC interrogation.

Eleven years after his release in 1986 he was shot and paralysed in a LVF gun attack believed to involve collusion.

He was confined to a wheel chair after the LVF opened fire outside the Glengannon Hotel, near Dungannon, in December 1997.

Another man, Seamus Dillon, was killed in the attack.

Mr Cummings has previously said that “the state has victimised me twice”.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) recently wrote to the Tyrone man’s solicitor Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, to confirm that it now intends to carry forensic testing on a limited number of original documents that remain in the crown court file.

The CCRC has said it has identified a suitable expert “and provided a detailed, written request for a report”.

A case review manager added that the work has been done in order to “discover whether there exists any evidence that might call into question the veracity of the unsigned written admissions ascribed to Mr Cummings at his trial, and which he denied making”.

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