3 April 1997 Edition

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McAliskey witness denies identification evidence

The extradition case against Roisin McAliskey appeared to weaken considerably when a German witness told German television that he never identified McAliskey. The man also expressed shock at discovering he had been named in the extradition papers as the principal extradition witness. It is alleged in the extradition warrant against the eight months pregnant woman that the witness, Manfred Schmidt, identified McAliskey from photos shown to him by police.

However Schmidt, the owner of the holiday home said to have been used by an IRA unit which carried out a mortar attack on a British army base in Osnabruck last June, told German TV's current affairs programme Kontraste that he didn't identify McAliskey.

Schmidt told the programme,''of course I was shown photographs, but I couldn't recognise any of the tenants in those photographs.''

He further claimed on the programme when the interviewer showed him photographs of McAliskey carrying Dominic McGlinchey's coffin, ``I'm seeing this for the first time, I cannot comment with regard to the photograph. This photo wasn't shown to me earlier.''

The warrant against McAliskey says Schmidt identified her from photographs shown to him by the police. It reads: ``the witness Schmidt who had seen the tenants several times definitely recognised on the photos the defendent.McAliskey as `Beth'''.

Now the flat contradiction by Schmidt poses difficulties for the German prosecutor's office should the case reach court. He further denied extensive contact with the woman called `Beth' during the period the group stayed in his cottage.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
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