Ex-RUC men accused of perverting justice

Ex-RUC men accused of perverting justice

Two former RUC detectives expected to appear before a judge accused of perverting the course of justice over an investigation into the killing of a soldier in Londonderry in the 1970s, have not appeared in court.

John McGahan, 71, and 64-year-old Philip Noel Thomson were listed to appear before Londonderry Magistrates' Court to be formally charged with alleged offences dating back to the late 1970s.The ex-police officers are accused of recording written statements that were not the accounts given by suspects.The charge against John McGahan is connected to an RUC investigation into the murder of Royal Welsh Fusiliers officer Lieutenant Stephen Kirby.In February 1979, Lt. Kirby was shot dead by the Provisional IRA at Abercorn Road in Derry.The RUC charged four teenagers with his murder: Gerry McGowan, Michael Toner, Stephen Crumlish and Gerard Kelly.They became known as 'The Derry Four' after they skipped bail and crossed the border into the Republic.They always protested their innocence and almost 20 years later all charges against them were dropped.They were present in Bishop Street Courthouse for Friday's hearing.Their treatment by the RUC was investigated by the Police Ombudsman and in 2012 the matter was referred to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).The PPS decision to charge ex-detectives John McGahan and Philip Noel Thomson is understood to be the first time charges linked to a historical investigation have been laid against former RUC officers.The retired detectives - whose address was given as PSNI headquarters in Knock, Belfast - are due to appear in Bishop Street Courthouse on 27 June.

© UTV

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