Thursday 26 April 2018

Court hears that Bell gave advice on shooting

Bell gave advice on shooting, court told

Ivor Bell is taken away by police after being refused bail. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Ivor Bell is taken away by police after being refused bail. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Chris Kilpatrick

A SENIOR republican told a paramilitary he had no problem with shooting a so-called "tout" when asked for his advice on what the gang should do with Jean McConville, a court was told.

The court heard Ivor Bell advised one of those holding Mrs McConville captive she should not be spared just because she was a woman.

It was alleged by the prosecution that Bell said he had no qualms about shooting "touts", particularly those, he claimed, who were paid for information.

The prosecution said the comments were made during a meeting in the kitchen of a Falls Road house, shortly before Mrs McConville was shot in the back of the head. Bell is charged with aiding and abetting the murder of the mother of 10 in 1972.

He was granted bail yesterday on conditions including putting up two sureties of £10,000 (€12,000) by friends.

The accused, from Ramoan Gardens in the Andersonstown district of west Belfast, was arrested last week. He denies any role in the abduction or murder of Mrs McConville.

Bell appeared via videolink from Maghaberry Prison yesterday morning. The case against him is based on an interview he allegedly gave as part of a project by Boston College.

The court was told one of the Boston interviewees, given the title 'Z', spoke about the circumstances surrounding the decision to abduct Mrs McConville.

The prosecution alleged that this person was Bell. Mr Justice Weir was told Bell was asked for advice on what to do with the 37-year-old mother.

Prosecution counsel David Russell said: "He (Bell) indicates that he told the other person: 'Well, she's a tout and the fact she's a woman shouldn't save her'."

The pensioner told detectives he did not believe he was in Belfast around the time Mrs McConville was murdered.

Mrs McConville's body was secretly buried at Shelling Hill beach, near Templetown in Co Louth, and was accidentally found by members of the public in 2003.

Irish Independent

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