Published Thursday, 06 September 2012
The men were arrested last Thursday after they were stopped by police. (© UTV)
The men were arrested in north Belfast last Thursday after they were stopped in a car that was found to contain an imitation gun and hammer.
A written statement threatening to "execute and exile" drug dealers was later found at the home of one of two men in the vehicle, prosecutors revealed at the High Court on Thursday.
The two-page document claimed to be from an organisation called Correct Action Against Drugs.
Finbar Kelly, a 35-year-old youth coordinator from the Antrim Road, and Joseph John McNally, 46, of Oisin House in the nearby New Lodge district, both deny a charge of possessing an imitation firearm.
The pellet-type weapon was discovered under a passenger seat of the Renault Scenic.
Two balaclavas, two pairs of gloves, a baseball bat and a claw hammer were also seized from the vehicle.
Prosecution barrister Philip Henry said: "On the basis of what police found..police are of the firm view that an attack on an unknown individual was imminent."
The court heard follow-up searches were carried out at both of the accused's homes.
In Kelly's house police discovered a document focusing on drug dealers within republican communities.
"It refers to drug-dealing gangs and (states) those who seek to benefit from the destruction of their families, friends and the wider community will be executed, exiled and their businesses targeted and destroyed," Mr Henry added.
It was claimed that Kelly's fingerprint was found on the statement.
At McNally's home a photograph allegedly showing him in paramilitary-style uniform and holding a rifle was found, according to the prosecution.
His barrister said it was an innocent Halloween photo and claimed there was a lack of evidence against him to meet the charge.
Counsel for Kelly said his client had only been in the car for ten minutes and knew nothing about the imitation gun.
Kelly also denies having anything to do with the document found at his home, although it was contended that he could have unwittingly handled it.
The judge, Mr Justice Horner, refused bail to both accused due to the risk of re-offending and harm to the public.