Witnesses to Lyra McKee murder offered anonymity over fears of intimidation or threats
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Witnesses to Lyra McKee murder offered anonymity over fears of intimidation or threats

POLICE investigating the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry have confirmed that witnesses will be offered anonymity if they come forward to give evidence in court.

Lyra, 29, was shot dead by a member of the 'New IRA' during riots in the Creggan area of the city on April 18.

In a rare move, the PSNI has decided to allow any witnesses to the killing the opportunity to give evidence on an anonymous basis following discussions with the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

The force explained that "the maximum protection" was necessary to offset the chances of witness intimidation or threats in any future trial.

In a statement, a PSNI spokesperson said: "Anonymity will be provided to witnesses of the murder and the activities of the gunman.

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The masked man suspected of shooting Lyra McKee was caught on CCTV (Image: PSNI)

"Witnesses will be referred to Witness A, B, C etc and your identity will only be revealed to the Public Prosecution Service.

"As a witness you may not be required to give evidence in court but if you are, we will request the maximum protection.

"This can include options such as anonymity, giving evidence by video link, from behind screens and with voice distortion.

"We have no intention of placing witnesses at risk".

Detectives said they were looking for hard evidence about the gunman and his associates, "not rumour, not speculation, not gossip" and appealed for more first-hand evidence or camera footage.

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Last week, a reward of up to £10,000 was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Ms McKee's death.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact police by phone, online at the PSNI Major Incident Public Portal or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.