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15 January 1998 Edition

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Bik out on bail

By Mick Naughton

ARDOYNE republican Brendan Bik McFarlane was released on bail on Tuesday after being charged last week in relation to the kidnapping of Don Tidey.

During the three hour sitting, presiding Judge Barr questioned the Special Branch detective in charge, Det Superintendent John McElligot as to why McFarlane's extradition had not been sought when he was captured in Holland in 1986 and why he was not questioned during numerous visits to the 26 counties since he was first granted temporary parole in 1993.

McElligot was vague when questioned. Opposing bail, he said fingerprints had been found on ``moveable objects'' recovered from a dugout after the 1983 kidnapping of supermarket executive Don Tidey.

However, questioned by McFarlane's barrister, Hugh Hartnett, he accepted that the fingerprints could have been there before the kidnapping.

McFarlane was arrested last week by the Special Branch while returning home to Belfast on a bus from Dublin. The Special Branch said they had acted on ``information received'' on Monday 5 January before charging McFarlane in Dundalk and imprisoning him in Portlaoise.

An Phoblacht
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