Home News UK & World News

My DNA was planted, Duffy claims

A man cleared of murdering two soldiers In Northern Ireland has claimed his DNA was planted in the getaway car.

Colin Duffy, 44, said the charges against him were "spurious" but refused to condemn dissident republicans.

Co-accused Brian Shivers was convicted on Friday of murdering the two sappers outside Massereene army barracks in March 2009.

Duffy said: "I am firmly of the view that my DNA arose there because it was planted. I was never in that car. I state quite categorically here that I had no involvement in what happened at Massereene, no involvement whatsoever, and that has been vindicated in court because there was no credible evidence to suggest otherwise."

He said that if being a dissident meant opposing Sinn Fein's peace strategy, then he was happy to classify himself as such. He added that he had no questions to answer.

"I did not need to answer to the spurious evidence or so-called evidence that they were adducing at the trial," he said. "The decision not to give evidence was a decision that we took on the basis of my view legally of how the case was going."

Duffy walked free from Antrim courthouse on Friday following a six-week trial in which he was accused of helping to kill the Afghanistan-bound soldiers, who died in a hail of machine gun fire.

Cystic fibrosis sufferer Shivers, 46, was handed a life sentence after the judge, Mr Justice Anthony Hart, found him guilty of being part of the gang.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, and Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, were gunned down as they collected a pizza delivery outside the Massereene Army barracks in Antrim.

The dissident republican Real IRA claimed responsibility. It was the third time in the last two decades that Duffy, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, has walked free after being charged with murdering security-force members.