Began with the closing of the Prosecution argument, astonishingly they conceded their is no evidence directly linking either John Paul or Brendan to the fatal shooting of Stephen Carroll but rather “when you take a global view of the evidence and then draw inference on that evidence” the men must be found guilty!.
In reality the prosecution has forwarded a set of circumstances with guess work and unsubstantiated theory not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt any of this theory and the original trial judge misdirecting himself drew inference and bad character and promoted this as fact to fill in the holes and secure the original conviction.
The three appeal judges constantly put it to the prosecution that they could not beyond reasonable doubt prove any of their claims, the prosecutions answer was vague saying that taken altogether these unproven strands somehow proved guilt.
Following the closure of the prosecution’s argument the new evidence regarding the affidavit of Witness M’s close relative who had been arrested by the PSNI prior to the original appeal date in April was discussed.
Both the Defense and Prosecution put forward brief arguments regarding the admissibility of the new witnesses affidavit, following a recess for lunch the court decided the new Witness would need to attend and be questioned on the matter and a subpoena was issued for his attendance on Monday.
A subpoena was also issued for former Maghaberry Governor Steve Rodford and former prisoner ombudsman Pauline McCabe. They have been called to give evidence about the circumstances regarding the finding of Steve Rodfords personal details in Brendan McConvilles cell in a planned search.
A report by Pauline McCabe at the time had exonerated Brendan McConville and pointed the blame at the prison officers. The prosecution attempted to use the find as bad character against Brendan in the trial and the PSNI sought to have him convicted for the find. It emerged during the appeal that the PSNI had approached Governor Rodford and asked him to “add a line” to a statement he had made as the “case against McConville was delicate”. The appeal was adjourned until 9.30am on Monday when those who have been subpoenaed will give testimony.
The JFTC2 Group one again thank everyone for the continued support and ask that this appeal is watched closely to its conclusion, it is obvious to all who have viewed it that the original trial should never have proceeded due to a lack of evidence, we will continue to campaign until both men have justice.
From: McConville Wootton