Fourteen to face trial on Raytheon charges

Fourteen people, nine women and five men, have been returned for trial to Derry Crown Court charged in connection with a protest at the Raytheon arms manufacturing plant in Derry in January.

The fourteen with addresses in Donegal, Derry, and Leitrim face an array of charges including criminal damage, assault on police, obstructing police and impersonating a police officer all of which were said to have occurred on January 12 last.

When one of the accused, Brian McFadden of Little Diamond was being charged he interrupted and asked why a police officer who allegedly struck a woman during the protest was not in court with them.

District Judge Mr.Barney McElholm said that if anyone was not happy with the way the PSNI or the PPS had handled the case there were methods of complaining.

It was accepted that there was a case to answer and all of the defendants said they did not wish to call any witnesses or make any statement at this time.

One of the defence solicitors Mr. Paddy MacDermott, said that his client's defence would be that they were defending other people in the Middle Eastern conflict and trying to prevent war crimes. He applied for two counsel due to the complex legal arguments.

The District Judge said there were great public interest issues and legal argument so he granted all the legal teams two counsel.

All 14 are due to appear at Derry Crown Court on January 6.