Two gardaí, charged with forgery and perjury during the trial of a man suspected of being involved in the Omagh bombing, have been found not guilty by direction of the trial judge.

Detective Garda John Fahy, 53, from Glaslough in Co Monaghan and 50-year-old Detective Garda Liam Donnelly from Cavan town gave evidence during the trial of Colm Murphy in late 2001.

The two were part of the team investigating the 1998 Omagh bombing. On 22 February 1999, they interviewed Colm Murphy, who was suspected of being involved.

The prosecution in this case alleged that they forged the notes of this interview and then lied about it under oath. Both gardaí pleaded not guilty.

The trial of the two gardaí was expected to last two weeks. But after three days of legal argument, Judge Desmond Hogan ruled that the interview notes and technical analysis carried out on them could not be admitted as evidence.

The judge found the prosecution had been unable to establish a chain of custody in relation to the notes or the analysis, meaning there was no guarantee that they had not been tampered with or interfered with in any way.

The prosecution said there was no further evidence to go before the jury that could lead to a conviction and asked that the jury be directed to return not guilty verdicts on all charges.