Northern Ireland news

Man and two women facing dissident terrorist charges mounting High Court action related to frozen bank accounts frozen

The High Court in Belfast

A MAN and two women facing dissident terrorist charges are mounting High Court action against having their bank accounts frozen.

Damien McLaughlin, Sharon Jordan and Amanda Duffy claim the move taken as part of a major investigation into New IRA activities was unlawful.

Judicial review proceedings have been issued against the PSNI Chief Constable and a District Judge who granted the freezing orders.

McLaughlin (45), Jordan (46) and 50-year-old Duffy, also known as Amanda McCabe, are all currently in custody accused of terrorist offences linked

to the joint police and MI5 Operation Arbacia.

They are among 10 people to be charged in the surveillance-led offensive targeting the New IRA.

The probe involved bugging two suspected meetings in Co Tyrone last year.

Earlier this year police obtained freezing orders against 20 bank and credit union accounts at courts in Belfast and London.

McLaughlin, Jordan and Duffy are now challenging the legality of the steps taken in Northern Ireland. With the freezing orders due to expire on Friday, a further forfeiture application has not been ruled out.

In court yesterday defence lawyers claimed issues around consultation rendered the original orders unlawful.

One barrister contended: "The respondent has produced no evidence that has allayed any of our concerns, or changed our minds about the validity of the original application".

The case was adjourned to later in the week for a further hearing.

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