7th November 2007;
Defence lawyer, Patricia Coyle of Harte Coyle Collins, Solicitors & Solicitor Advocates acting for Filipino national Jaybe Ofrasio who faces alleged Al-Qaeda offences under the Terrorism Act in 2004, confirmed today that her client will be formally acquitted of the charges at Belfast Crown Court on 7th November 2007.
Mr Ofrasio was originally arrested on 29th January 2004 in West Belfast and interviewed 29 times over 5 days by the PSNI at Antrim Serious Crime Station. He appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court in early February 2007 on 4 holding charges. He remained in custody for 11 months before being granted High Court Bail at Belfast High Court by Mr Justice Weir, and he has remained on bail in Northern Ireland for 2 years.
Patricia Coyle on behalf of Mr Ofrasio said today:
“My client welcomes the acquittal which will take place at Belfast Crown Court on 7th November 2007. Mr Ofrasio will be formally acquitted on the 2 remaining charges he faces. The other 6 charges were dismissed as a result of defence applications earlier this year. This is the end of protracted criminal proceedings which he successfully challenged at every stage. He was in custody for 11 months from January 2004 and has been subject to strict bail conditions for 2 years which he has never breached.
It has been clear to us for a long time that there were major problems with the prosecution evidence in this case. My client is now anxious to return to a normal family life with his young family in Northern Ireland and to contribute to the evolving multi-cultural society here.”