The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) met with a delegation from the Justice for the Craigavon Two campaign group recently regarding the convictions and pending appeals of Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton. The Group set out its concerns regarding the original non jury trial, talking extensively about the evidence and witness testimony and why the group believe the case to be a miscarriage of justice.
The CAJ asked what role they could provide, The JFTC2 group then asked would CAJ be willing to provide independent oversight of the appeal process, following a briefing by both Brendan and John Paul’s legal teams the CAJ agreed to send observers to the appeal which is scheduled to start on April 29th, this was publicised by an article in the Irish News.
Brian Gormally the director of CAJ said the CAJ had been monitoring the case among others and had concerns, he was quoted in the Irish News as saying “The first aspect is obviously it was a no jury trial we are always concerned about no jury trials” he said. “another aspect was involvement of a clandestine military surveillance unit and we are not sure if it was covered by the terms of deployment of the British army here”. He said the CAJ is also concerned about issues arising from the use of a British army tracking device placed in John Paul Wootton’s car. “it appears that was interfered with and wiped by the army,”
Mr Gormally said there was “enough to engage our attention as a human rights organisation” although it would not pre-judge the outcome.
Justice for the Craigavon Two are pleased with the outcome of the meeting and the fact CAJ has committed to observing the trial, before Christmas Fianna Fail TD Eamon O’Cuiv also stated publicly that due to concerns he would be attending the appeal as an independent observer.
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