SECOND SUSPECT RELEASED IN CONSTABLE RONAN KERR MURDER INVESTIGATION

Murdered PSNI constable Ronan Kerr

A MAN arrested in England over the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr has been released without charge.

On Monday, a 22-year-old man was arrested in the Milton Keynes area of Buckinghamshire.

The suspect is originally from Omagh, Co Tyrone.

The arrest was made by officers from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit at the request of PSNI Serious Crime Branch detectives as PSNI officers have no powers of arrest outside Northern Ireland.

The suspect has been taken to a police station in England for questioning.

The intelligence-led operation has been in the pipepline for a number of weeks following consultation with forces in England.

However, on Wednesday evening the suspect was released without charge.

Around the same time, raids were being carried out on addresses in the Dromore area of Co Tyrone.

Hours earlier, another suspect arrested by detectives probing Constable Kerr’s murder was released from police custody.

The PSNI said the 39-year-old man, who was arrested under the Terrorism Act, was released unconditionally on Tuesday evening.

During a swoop on Tuesday morning evening, the suspect was arrested in Omagh, Co Tyrone under the Terrorism Act.

The suspect was taken to the Serious Crime Suite in Antrim police station. He was not being questioned about the policeman’s murder but in relation to other matters connected to the attack.

During dawn raids on Monday morning, detectives from the PSNI’S Serious Crime Branch carried out searches in Omagh.

In co-ordinated swoops, police in Cumbria and the North West Counter Terrorist Unit also carried out searches.

A number of items have been seized for examination – including a lorry, which was stopped in Milton Keynes.

The PSNI said the searches were now complete and a suspect remained in custody in England.

Constable Ronan Kerr, 25, died when a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car in Omagh, County Tyrone on 2 April 2011.

Dissident republican paramilitaries have been blamed for the killing of the newly-recruited Catholic constable.

Mr Kerr, who was a Catholic and an active member of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), was seen by many as a symbol of Northern Ireland’s new police service.

The officer joined the PSNI in May 2010.

A republican splinter group claiming it was made up of former members of the Provisional IRA later claimed responsibility for his murder.

He was the second police officer to have been murdered since the Royal Ulster Constabulary became the PSNI in 2001.

A £50,000 reward remains on offer from Crimestoppers for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who carried out the murder.

The PSNI believe the group that killed Constable Kerr was also responsible for at least nine other dissident republican incidents.

One man has been charged in relation to the arms, ammunition, explosives and vehicles found at the garage on Coalisland’s Mountjoy Road, but no-one has been charged with Constable Kerr’s murder.

A key part of the investigation is finding the owner of the Coalisland garage.

PSNI Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray said detectives had identified some people who used the garage, but that they were still looking for others, including those who rented it.

“This is a long-term investigation with Ronan’s murder at its core but incorporating several linked incidents,” he said.

“It is an extremely large investigation which, as we said at the outset, will rely on detail to succeed.

“We believe we have identified some key individuals connected to the discovery at the garage at 187A Mountjoy Road.

“But we also believe there are other people, both men and women, who remain to be identified.

“This is an integral part of our investigation.

“We need to know who was renting these premises and who frequented them.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the PSNI in Omagh on 028 8225 6687 or via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.

 

 

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