Black murder suspect released

Published Thursday, 08 November 2012
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A man arrested in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black has been released unconditionally.

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The 46-year-old suspect was detained in the Lurgan area of Co Armagh earlier this week. He was the fourth person arrested and released over the attack.

Mr Black, a 52-year-old father of two, was shot dead on the M1 motorway as he drove to work at Maghaberry Prison last Thursday.

Exactly one week on, police officers returned to the scene of the shooting to try to gather key information.

They imposed a 40mph speed limit and reduced citybound traffic to one lane on the stretch of road between the two junctions where Mr Black's car was approached by a dark blue Toyota Camry and a number of shots fired.

Meanwhile at the Lurgan off-slip, a mobile appeal poster is in place to reinforce appeal messages, and a number of checkpoints have been mounted at locations near the motorway.

Police also stopped cars in the Annesborough Road area of Lurgan as part of enquiries to determine whether this was the getaway route used by the killers.

Their dark blue Toyota Camry car was found burnt out in the Inglewood area.

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott says police are determined to bring Mr Black's killers to justice.

He said: "Well, if you look at the success in the past few years, and sadly we brought many, many people to the courts charged with terrorism - 49 this year alone - these investigations can be lengthy, they can be complex."

Everybody has my assurance that nobody will do more to bring the killers of David Black to justice.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott

Revisiting the scene, Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said detectives hope to gather as much information as possible and have appealed for help.

"The investigation into David Black's murder is substantial and it is complex," he said.

"We are working closely with colleagues in a number of partner agencies, most notably An Garda Síochána, to follow various lines of enquiry.

"We have a large amount of CCTV material to analyse in relation to Mr Black's Audi, registration number HHZ 1560, and the killers' Toyota Camry which had a Southern registration number 94 D 50997."

ACC Harris continued: "We really do need to hear from anyone who has any knowledge about the Camry car in the days leading up to the murder or who saw it on Thursday morning.

"We also need to speak to anyone who was on the motorway travelling eastbound towards Belfast last Thursday morning whether they joined it at Tamnamore, Loughgall, the Birches or Portadown."

David Black became the first Northern Ireland prison officer to be murdered by paramilitaries in almost 20 years when he was killed last Thursday.

Hundreds of people attended his funeral in Cookstown earlier this week where he was described as "a man committed to peace".

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