Sean Hoey has been acquitted on all charges of involvement in the 1998 Omagh bombing. The 38-year-old had been accused of engineering the 225 kg car bomb. Many of the victims’ relatives were in court and expressed their disappointment on hearing the verdict.
The Omagh bombing was Northern Ireland’s worst terrorist atrocity. Among the 29 killed were an 18-month-old child and a woman pregnant with twins. More than 200 were injured.
The prosecution’s case rested mainly on so-called low copy number DNA evidence, which uses samples as small as ten cells and is thought by many to be unreliable. In his verdict the judge was highly critical of the forensic evidence presented during the trial
In spite of a massive police investigation, only two people have ever been charged over the massacre, both of whom are now free.