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European arrest warrant obtained for suspect in prison officer David Black murder

Police have obtained a European arrest warrant for a suspect in the murder of prison officer David Black.

Mr Black was shot dead near Lurgan as he drove to work at HMP Maghaberry in November 2012.

A man from County Tyrone had been due to stand trial this month on charges relating to the murder, including aiding and abetting.

But Damiem Joseph McLaughlin, from Ardboe, fled while on bail.

PSNI Chief  Constable Georhe Hamilton confirmed that enquiries had been made with the courts and, as a result of these, a European arrest warrant had been obtained and the 40-year-old’s bail revoked.

It was in December that it was realised that the accused had disappeared.

Appeals via the media, together with the studying of CCTV footage and interviews conducted with family members and associates, had failed to locate him.

The matter also was debate on the floor of the Assembly with questions asked about how the situation could have come about.

PSNI officers have been keeping contact with other law enforcement agencies across Europe and in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The Chief Constable accepted that, between November 23 and December 23 last year, there could appear to have “been a breakdown in the monitoring of the bail by police”.

The Police Ombudsman is also investigating.

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