West Belfast man to stand trial on explosive and ammunition charges – The Irish News

A WEST Belfast man is to stand trial later this year on a series of explosive and ammunition charges.

Kevin Anthony McLaughlin (35), of Ballymurphy Drive appeared at Belfast Crown Court today for an arraignment hearing on five charges.

He pleaded not guilty to possession of explosives with intent to endanger life and possession of explosives in suspicous circumstances.

Mr McLaughlin further denied possessing a magazine for an assault rifle and ammunition in suspicious circumstances on dates between March and November 2015.

The charges alleged he possessed three mercury tilt switches, detonators and an improvised detonator cord.

He was accused of possessing four rounds of military-grade bullets capable of “penetrating armour plating, armour screening or body armour”.

Mr McLaughlin was further charged with possessing 88 rounds of ammunition “which are designed to be used with a pistol and incorporate a missile designed or adapted to expand on impact”.

His non-jury trial was fixed for December 10 and is expected to last about a week, Judge Geoffrey Miller QC was told.

The court heard that 21 witnesses will be involved in the trial.

Mr McLaughlin’s defence barrister said there were “significant forensic issues in this case”.

Judge Miller said the case would be reviewed on November 9 when any pre-trial issues should be addressed.

The judge released the defendant on contuing bail.

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