Decision on Marian Price due next week

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A decision on whether Marian Price (named in court as Marian McGlinchey) will face a court room for her preliminary enquiry or if the court will sit in a prison hospital will be made next week.

The case against Price was adjourned today at Derry’s Magistrate’s Court after District Judge, Mr Barney McElholm said he would have to take advice from medical professionals regarding the former republican prisoner’s fitness to appear.

Fifty eight year old Price faces two charges in connection with a dissident republican rally at the City Cemetery in April 2011, as a result of which Sectretary of State, Owen Patterson, revoked her licence.

Price’s supporters claim she is now effectively being interned and is unfit to stand trial after being held in isolation for almost one year. Price whose address was given in court as no fixed abode is being held in a secure hospital after being transferred there from Hydebank Prison.

Addressing the court, Judge McElholm said: “I want the medical experts briefed on what is involved if I decide to convene in the hospital.

“I want the doctors fully briefed on the nuts and bolts of what is expected of the accused. As this is a preliminary enquiry the defendant will not be examined or questioned.

“The test here is of convenience and suitability, Those are issues for the doctors. I believe a secure hospital would be appropriate to hold the preliminary enquiry if necessary.”

“Sensibly we will be looking to follow the medical advice. Technically the court is entitled to convene in the hospital.”

Judge McElholm adjourned his decision until Wednesday of next week.