26 June 2003 Edition

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Felons get property back

Thousands of pounds-worth of property seized in an RUC raid on the Felons' Club in West Belfast in 1997 was finally returned last week.

RUC members took gaming machines, cash tills and paperwork and as a result 13 members of the club were charged with VAT irregularities. After a lengthy delay by the RUC in processing the case, a judge threw it out of court and dismissed all charges.

Solicitors for the club, however, were still forced to issue a writ under the Police Protection Act to get the property returned.

Club spokespeerson Liam Shannon slammed the PSNI for misusing millions of pounds in trying to bring a case.

"We have done nothing wrong and this case was always going to fail. The RUC's intent was intimidation, pure and simple, and I fear this is not going to be the end. The money wasted on this case could have been better spent investigating unionist paramilitary activities."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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