A suspected bomber ac-cused of a fatal IRA attack on the British army’s Northern Ireland headquarters was holidaying in Spain when he was arrested, a court heard.
Michael Rogan (44), one of the so-called ‘on the runs’, has been extradited to face charges of causing explosions at Thiep-val Barracks in Lisburn, Co Antrim, eight years ago.
One soldier, Warrant Officer James Bradwell (43), was killed and 31 others injured in the blast.
Mr Rogan has also been charged with two counts of collecting information likely to be useful to terrorists by possessing private health records of prison officers and members of the security forces between April 1994 and February 1995.
As he was brought into the dock at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court, a police sergeant confirmed he had replied “not guilty” to all three charges.
But the officer who travelled to Spain and brought Mr Rogan back to Northern Ireland yesterday said he could connect him with the offences.
Defence solicitor Peter Madden insisted his client would be fighting the case and criticised what he described as inaccurate press reports.
“The object is to try and influence the public in a way by publishing untruths about this defendant and the charges he faces,” he said.
“The defendant was on a week’s holiday in Tenerife and to say he had been living in Spain for some time (is not true).”
Mr Rogan, a kitchen designer, originally from north Belfast, gave his address as Culnaraith, Omeath, Co Louth.
Wanted ever since he failed to return to court in November 1997, he was arrested in Playa de Las Americas on the Spanish island last week.
He agreed to be extradited following an appearance at the National Criminal Court in Mad-rid as part of an anti-terrorist collaboration between the auth-orities in Spain and the United Kingdom.
But Mr Madden criticised Mr Rogan’s detention for 10 days, claiming his client was unable to contact his family or legal representatives.
“I didn’t know where he was,” he said.
“There’s a letter of protest from the Irish government to the Spanish authorities in relation to that.”
Rogan was remanded in custody to appear again for a preliminary inquiry at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Novem-ber 19.