Northern Ireland

Pair to face Massereene murder trial

Colin Duffy
Image caption Colin Duffy is one of two men accused of killing the soldiers

Two men accused of killing two soldiers at Massereene army barracks in Antrim last year are to stand trial for the murders.

The decision to send the two men to trial was taken on Thursday at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

Colin Duffy, 43, from Lurgan and Brian Shivers, 45, from Magherafelt will stand trial for the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey.

Mr Duffy and Mr Shivers will also face six counts of attempted murder.

The attack at the Army barracks, which was claimed by the dissident republican group the Real IRA, was carried out in March 2009.

The soldiers were murdered as they took delivery of a pizza.

Thursday's hearing was the conclusion of a preliminary inquiry to decide if there was sufficient evidence to allow the case to proceed to trial.

The case against the men centres on DNA evidence found inside the car used in the attack.

Defence lawyers for the men argued that the standard of that evidence was not high enough to commit the men for trial.

However, Judge George Connor rejected these arguments.

Delivering his decision - he said that it would be inappropriate for him to consider the weight of the evidence .

That, he said, was a matter for trial.

He added that "clearly the car was connected to the crime" and there was evidence to indicate the defendants were connected to the car.

The judge added that there was sufficient evidence to return the two men for trial.

The pair are to appear again at Belfast Crown Court on 14 January.

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