Woman gets £190,000 bail after Banotti plea

 

A Dublin account executive, charged with plotting a wave of bombings across London, has been granted £190,000 sterling bail after a plea by Ms Mary Banotti, the MEP and former presidential candidate.

Ms Elaine Moore (21), of Hampstead, north London, was arrested last month and charged with conspiracy to cause explosions along with three Irish men.

Ms Moore, who moved to London from her home in Dublin last March to work as an account executive with a computer firm, was also charged with possessing explosives.

She was remanded in custody but granted bail at the Old Bailey yesterday after Ms Banotti made a plea for Ms Moore, who had canvassed for her in the past.

The former minister for foreign affairs, Mr Peter Barry, had also put up £50,000, Ms Banotti said, while Ms Moore's family and friends were raising £50,000.

At the hearing held in chambers, Ms Banotti told the Recorder of London, Judge Michael Hyam, that Ms Moore's involvement was "random and innocent".

Ms Banotti, a friend of Ms Moore's mother, Cathy, who is also a Fine Gael activist, contributed £20,000 towards the sureties and securities demanded by the court.

Tim Wood (formerly Joe Wood Agency) Press Room, Old Bailey, EC4M 7EH Tel: 0171-248-6858 Fax: 0171-236-8136

Ms Banotti handed a letter to the judge, which stated: "Miss Moore is totally innocent of all charges."

The defendant, who was not in court, was arrested last July 10th after the anti-terrorist officers raided her flat.

Ms Moore was represented by Mr Michael Mansfield QC in court. The press and public were barred from the 70-minute hearing.

She is in Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes and is not expected to be released until next week, when all the sureties will be in place. She will appear in court again on August 27th.

After the hearing Ms Banotti said Ms Cathy Moore had been "devastated" by her daughter's arrest and imprisonment.

"It is every mother's and father's nightmare," she said.

Ms Moore's mother stood for Fine Gael in the 1991 local elections. "I canvassed for her mother and she has done the same for me along with Elaine,' the MEP said.

Outside the Old Bailey Ms Moore's solicitor, Ms Gareth Peirce, said: "We obviously think the judge took the appropriate view and acknowledged the weaknesses in the prosecution assertions."

She added: "Ms Moore has stated from the moment of her arrest that she is innocent. Everyone believes her.

"We say the prosecution has no case and the charges should be dropped."