Accused denies murder charges

A man charged with murdering two British soldiers says he has only a couple of years to live.

Brian Shivers (46) from Magherafelt in County Derry, along with Colin Duffy (44) from Lurgan in County Armagh, is charged with murdering British soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey at Massereene barracks in Antrim in March 2009.

Both men deny the charge.

Mr. Shivers told the court sitting in Antrim he had nothing whatsoever to do with the attack.

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He said he had been to around three or four meetings of the republican socialist group Éirígí but he had never joined the group, nor had he been inspired by it.

Mr. Shivers also said he had never even met Mr. Duffy prior to his arrest.

He told the court he suffered from cystic fibrosis and in the November before the gun attack, he had gone to the hospital with his fiancée to be told he had only five or six years left to live.

He said he had other things in life to do rather than getting involved in anything like that.

Also on Monday, the court heard from a DNA expert for the defense.

Professor Dan Krane said the DNA in the case against Mr. Duffy was in small amounts. He said it did not necessarily mean he had been in direct contact with the getaway car.

"What it establishes is that his DNA may be associated with the glove and it may be associated with the belt buckle of the car," said Prof. Krane.

"The presence of a DNA profile per se does not say anything about the timeframe, or the circumstances, under which the DNA came to be there. The DNA tests themselves cannot answer that type of question.

"That is left more to a court or a jury to decide what those circumstances and timeframe (are). The DNA tests can simply tell us that DNA was found on those items."

The trial continues.