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Ivor Bell will go on trial over alleged involvement in Jean McConville kidnap and murder

The 79-year-old is also charged with being a member of the IRA.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A PROMINENT Republican will stand trial over the murder of a Belfast mother more than 40 years ago, one of the most notorious incidents in Northern Ireland’s Troubles, a judge ruled today.

Ivor Bell, 79, has been charged with aiding and abetting the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, 37, as well as being a member of the IRA.

McConville, a mother of 10, was abducted at her Belfast home in December 1972, shot dead and then secretly buried. She was accused of passing information to the British army.

Nobody has ever been convicted for the murder.

In 1999, the IRA admitted her murder and her remains were found on a beach four years later.

Trial to go ahead

Judge Amanda Henderson told Bell at a court hearing in Belfast that there was a case to answer, but a trial date has yet to be confirmed.

The case against Bell stems from an interview he allegedly gave to researchers at Boston College in the United States.

They interviewed a number of former paramilitaries about the Troubles on the understanding that transcripts would not be published until after their deaths.

However, a US court ruled in 2013 that the tapes should be handed over to the PSNI.

At a previous hearing, Bell’s lawyer Peter Corrigan said that on the tapes, his client “explicitly states that he was not involved with the murder of Jean McConville”.

Comments are disabled as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Boston College testimony used to bring veteran republican to court over Jean McConville

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