Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell was outside a sports complex in Omagh on Wednesday, February 22, while putting footballs into the boot of his car.
The men were arrested on Friday in dawn swoops in Coalisland and Omagh.
They appeared before Dungannon Magistrates’ Court today, Monday, May 29, for a first remand hearing.
Those accused of the DCI Caldwell’s attempted murder include Omagh men Jonathan McGinty, 28, from St Julian’s Downs; Gavin Coyle, 45, of Mullaghmore Drive; and Robert McLean, 28, James Ivor McLean, 72, and 47-year-old Alan McFarland – all of Deverney Park.
Matthew Joseph McLean, aged 33, of Glenpark Road, Gortin, and 38-year-old Brian Carron, of Claremount Drive, Coalisland, are also charged.
McLean, McGinty and McFarland are also charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 with preparing for acts of terrorism.
Carron and Coyle are further accused of belonging a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA.
The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Neil McGuinness, told the court he could connect all seven to the charges.
The SIO outlined details around the movements of three cars involved in the attack – a Mercedes and two Ford Fiestas – and other vehicles allegedly used in the subsequent disposal operation.
“It is our belief this is the clean-up operation following the attack,” said Det Ch Insp McGuiness.
He also told the court that police have made various links, based on CCTV evidence, to the vehicles and the accused both in the lead up and the aftermath of the attack.
Clothing linked to Carron recovered indicative particles of cartridge discharge residue and glycerine while other trace evidence was found in Mr Coyle’s wallet, the detective said.
He added: “This was a well-planned, well-resourced attempt to murder John Caldwell. It was a very wide-ranging conspiracy.”
DCI McGuiness said police believe there was a “personal element” to the attack on DCI Caldwell, who was “intimately involved” in investigations into several of the accused.He said that potential grudge against DCI Caldwell was the “golden thread” linking a number of the accused.
The shooting happened in front of DCI Caldwell’s son and other school children.
Officers have previously stated they believe the dissident republican group the New IRA may have had a role in the attack.
DCI Caldwell was discharged from hospital last month and has been able to provide a clear account of the attack on him.
James McLean, Coyle and McGinty applied for bail but their applications were refused.
All seven men were remanded in custody to Maghaberry prison to appear before Omagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, June 27, via videolink from the jail’s remand unit.Tags: