Sunday, December 5, 2010

McCanns hire Omagh bomb expert to carry out independent DNA tests

Last updated at 19:31 19 September 2007

Solicitors for the parents of Madeleine McCann are to have talks about controversial DNA testing with legal representatives of a man accused of the Omagh bomb atrocity, it was confirmed today.
Belfast lawyer Kevin Winters said the meeting with solicitors Kingsley Napley would take place in the city next week.
Kate and Gerry McCann became suspects after Madeleine's DNA was allegedly found in the boot of a hire car which they used weeks after her disappearance.
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A controversial forensic test known as Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA is at the centre of the marathon Omagh bomb trial in which a man from south Armagh has denied murdering 29 people who were killed in a no-warning bomb attack on the Tyrone town in August 1998.
The judge in the case, which finished last January, has yet to deliver his verdict.
LCN DNA is a highly sensitive testing procedure which magnifies potential forensic evidence that cannot be identified by traditional DNA.
Opponents argued that LCN DNA tests are unreliable because the magnification process leaves it open to potential distortion.
Mr Winters confirmed today that the McCann legal team has contacted his firm and a meeting with one of his staff, Peter Corrigan, the instructing solicitor in the Omagh defence team, has been scheduled for Belfast next week.

Omagh bombing The scene in Omagh after the 1998 bomb blast
He said: "I can confirm that we were approached to assist them in the specific area of DNA. The Omagh case was the first time that LCN DNA has been fully challenged in detail in an open court. It's a central allegation in the McCann case."
Sean Hoey, 37, from Jonesborough, Co Armagh, the only man charged with the Omagh massacre, which was carried out by the republican dissident organisation the Real IRA, is in custody awaiting the verdict.
Even though the trial, which started in September last year, finished in January, the judge Mr Justice Weir is still preparing his judgment.

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