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#Encrochat News: Belfast man awaiting trial on Encrochat-linked drugs charges refused bail

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A Belfast man awaiting trial on drugs charges linked to the encrypted Encrochat network was refused bail today.

James Thomas McGrogan is one of a number of defendants charged with offences arising from an investigation into suspected drug dealers who used the platform to carry out international criminality.

The 36-year-old, from Ardenlee Drive, appeared at Belfast Crown Court via a video-link from HMP Maghaberry where a bid to release him on bail was made by defence barrister Aaron Thompson.

Raising the issue of delay, Mr Thompson said the 13 Encrochat-linked drugs charges levelled at his client — which include possessing cocaine with intent to supply — date back to 2020.

The barrister told Judge Mark McGarrity there was “no prospect of him getting a trial date before Easter of next year.”

Rejecting suggestions there was an undue delay in the case, a Crown barrister said McGrogan's release was being objected to primarily on the grounds he would re-offend.

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