I see that Brendan ‘Bik’ Mc Farlane's much publicised and indeed politicised trial has finally collapsed.
Make no mistake the trial was a political charade, with his arrest carefully choreographed as well as a prolonged trial amidst a blaze of publicity.
Bik was standing trial in relation to the kidnapping of prominent business man Don Tidey in 1983.
Unfortunately whenever Free State forces stormed the hostage lair two members of the Free State military were killed.
Whilst republicans have long been accused of the murders empirical evidence is suggestive that the victims were killed by Free State forces rather than the Army.
Indeed Tidey gave evidence of how he believed he narrowly avoided execution by Free State forces when they stormed the hide out.
The prosecution conceded to-day that it will not be offering any further evidence. The court ruled that Garda evidence was inadmissible. Indeed Bik refuted several statements that the Garda allege he made during questioning. Bik has vehemently denied all knowledge of the offences.
Bik was arrested in January 1998 near Carrickarnon. He was travelling from Dublin on a bus when Garda, acting on a ‘tip off’ intercepted the bus and arrested him. It later transpired that Mc Farlane was to dismount the bus at the border as he was to receive a reprieve from then NI SOS Mo Mowlem. In a further development the Garda who arrested Bik refused to disclose where the ‘tip off’ had emanated from.
His arrest and every aspect of the trial since then received a plethora and indeed a surfeit of publicity. It is great to see that justice has finally been served and that the former OC of the Kesh has finally been acquitted of these trumped up charges.