Northern Ireland news

Transcripts released in terrorist court case

Transcripts of police interviews conducted with a west Belfast woman suspected of terrorist offences have been disclosed in court.

Fionnghuale Mary Teresa Dympha Perry, of Waterville Street, has been charged with possessing documents or records containing information likely to be of use to terrorists - namely a security debrief regarding the police recovery of firearms, ammunition and explosives - on February 20, 2018.

The 65-year old has also been charged with collecting or making a record of information likely to be useful to terrorists on a date between September 16, 2015 and February 21, 2018.

The pensioner has denied both offences and is currently standing trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Both charges arose from a search of her home which was carried out by officers from the PSNI's Tactical Support Group on February 20, 2018.

During the search, a perfume box containing notes written on cigarette papers was located and seized from a bedroom in the property.

Perry was arrested and taken to Musgrave Police Station where she was interviewed on several occasions - and refused upon the advice of her solicitor to answer police questions.

These interviews were the subject of today's non-jury hearing and transcripts were read to trial judge, Mr Justice O'Hara.

At the start of the interviews, it was made clear to police that Perry would not be answering any questions.

A police officer noted this, then proceeded to ask Perry a series of questions relating to the notes found in her home and alleged New IRA membership.

It's the Crown's case that the heavily coded notes are linked to a dissident republican security de-brief regarding the seizure of explosives and firearms during a police raid on a house in Ballymurphy in September 2015.

In code, the notes mention 'a missing rice crispie' and 'pest control being heavy in the Murph' after the raid.

The questions asked to Perry by police included 'Are you a member of the New IRA?', 'did you make these notes?', 'were these notes made at a meeting?', 'was the meeting in a safe house?, 'did you discuss topics that would be of interest to the New IRA at the meeting' and 'what are the notes about?'

Perry answered 'no comment' to these questions, and also refused to comment on how the notes were found in a bedroom in her house.

When asked again about the codes in the notes, and whether 'rice crispie' referred to an AK47 that went missing from the New IRA and 'pest control' as meaning the PSNI, she again answered 'no comment.'

The trial is due to resume on Thursday.


Northern Ireland news