Bail scandal: ‘No particular reason to believe terror accused is dead’

Lord Morrow

Lord Morrow

Lord Morrow has said there is nothing in particular which makes him believe that Damien McLaughlin could have been killed, as opposed to simply having absconded.

McLaughlin, aged 40 and from Kilmascally Road, east Co Tyrone, denies four charges in relation to the David Black murder but vanished whilst out on bail some time late last year.

His whereabouts are now unknown.

The DUP peer has repeatedly made the suggestion that McLaughlin could have fallen prey to fellow republicans, including making the claim on the floor of the Assembly last month.

Most recently, Lord Morrow released a statement on Friday suggesting that the dissident terrorism suspect might have been “disappeared”.

Asked by the News Letter what makes him believe that could be the case, he said: “I suppose in fairness there’s nothing that makes me think he might have been, any more than [the idea] he might be in Europe. He might be in the Irish Republic. He might be in Northern Ireland.

“He might be ‘disappeared’. He might be in America. He just might be anything, let’s be truthful.”

A European Arrest Warrant has been obtained by police hunting McLaughlin.

He had been living at an address in west Belfast and was required to sign bail five times a week by police, but was last seen by officers on November 18 last year.

Read a blow-by-blow, detailed timeline of how the case against McLaughlin has progressed ever since 2012 – a case which has now been jeopardised by his disappearance.