PPS – ruling is ‘not the end’ of Marian Price case (BBC News Northern Ireland)
The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has said it is “very surprised” that a case against Marian Price and three others has been dismissed.
On Thursday, a judge dismissed the charges against the veteran republican and three men relating to a Republican Easter Commemoration last year.
He said there was no evidence before him when it emerged that court papers for the hearing were not ready.
In a statement, the PPS said the ruling was “in no way the end of the case”.
Ms Price – who is also known by her married name, Marian McGlinchey – was charged alongside the three men in connection with a demonstration last year in a cemetery in Londonderry during which a masked man made threats against the PSNI.
She was charged along with Patrick McDaid, of Beechwood Avenue, Frank Quigley of Elmwood Road and Marvin Canning of Glendara, all from Derry.
Mr Canning is a brother-in-law of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
On Friday, the PPS released a statement which said: “We are very surprised that the court has taken this step in circumstances where this was the first occasion that the case has been listed for preliminary inquiry.
“In addition, the defence had indicated that Marian McGlinchey was not fit to attend or participate.
“PPS are examining all the circumstances and how we will proceed.
“This is in no way the end of the case,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, DUP MLA Paul Givan, who chairs Stormont’s justice committee, said the PPS had questions to answer over delays in the prosecution case.
“The judge has made it clear he’s putting the blame with the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for not having the proper papers ready and I think it’s for the director of the PPS now to come forward and to explain why his organisation didn’t have those papers ready,” he said.
During the hearing at Londonderry Magistrates Court, District Judge Barney McElholm said three men could be released from custody but added that Ms Price’s case was slightly different.
She remains in custody charged in connection with the murders of two soldiers at Massereene Barracks.
She denies providing property for the purposes of terrorism, a charge related to the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey at Massereene barracks in March 2009.
Ms Price was jailed for the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973. Secretary of State Owen Paterson revoked her release from prison on licence almost a year ago.