Man in court over McConville murder

Man in court over McConville murder

A veteran republican charged in connection with the 1972 abduction and murder of widow and mother-of-10 Jean McConville has been refused bail.

Ivor Bell, who is 77 and from Ramoan Gardens in west Belfast, appeared in court on Saturday morning accused of aiding and abetting murder and membership of the IRA.A number of relatives of Ms McConville attended the hearing.Bell was arrested on Tuesday in west Belfast by officers from the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch. A court granted police until Friday night to question him.The court heard officers moved against the pensioner on the basis of an interview he had allegedly given researchers compiling a Troubles archive at Boston College in America - tapes a US court ordered to be handed over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.Solicitor of man charged in connection with McConville murder said prosecution will suggest that he gave interview on Boston Tapes— Aideen Kennedy (@Aideen_UTV) March 22, 2014In court on Saturday the prosecution said they did not want Bell to get bail because there was a serious risk he could abscond.Bell's solicitor said a surety of £200,000 has been offered, adding that due to his age and ill health he was unlikely to take flight.However the judge refused bail and Bell was remanded in custody due to appear in court again in a month's time.Mrs McConville was kidnapped from her flat in the Divis area of west Belfast in December 1972 and shot by the IRA.The 37-year-old's body was not recovered until years later, when it when it was found on a beach in Co Louth in August 2003.Michael McConville, son of Jean McConville, issued a statement on Saturday.It said: "Recent developments have brought the media focus back on to Jean McConville, who was one of the Disappeared."At this time, as always, we remember her as our mother, whom we loved so much."The pain of losing her has not diminished over the decades since she was taken from us murdered and secretly buried. She is in our hearts and our thoughts always."Whatever the future holds nothing will ever change that".


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