Arlene inquest halted for fresh searches

Published Thursday, 10 April 2014
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An inquest into the disappearance and murder of Co Tyrone teenager Arlene Arkinson has been adjourned indefinitely, with fresh searches for her body now expected to go ahead.

Arlene inquest halted for fresh searches
Arlene Arkinson disappeared after attending a disco in 1994. (© Family album photo)

The PSNI made an unexpected application to Northern Ireland's senior coroner John Leckey on Thursday to have the proceedings halted, due to a development in the criminal case.

While no specific details were given at the preliminary hearing in Belfast, it is understood that more digs are to be undertaken in a bid to find the Castlederg girl's missing body.

Arlene disappeared 20 years ago, in August 1994, from a disco in Co Donegal.

We would welcome the development and thank the PSNI.

Henry Toner QC, Arkinson family lawyer

"Matters related to the criminal investigation have arisen and it's important that hearing this inquest does not trespass on that investigation," Frank O'Donaghue QC, a lawyer for the coroner, said.

The family have confirmed via their lawyer that they understand the need for the postponement and added that they welcome the development.

The inquest into Arlene's death has been repeatedly delayed since first sitting seven years ago.

A further police update is not expected by the court until September, but legal representatives will meet in the summer over the disclosure of documents related to the case.

© UTV News
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