Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

IRA killer whose licence was revoked must be freed: judge

A convicted double murderer has won his High Court challenge to being returned to prison.

Martin Corey is to be released on unconditional bail after a judge ruled that the Parole Commissioners breached his human rights in refusing to release him.

The 61-year-old issued judicial review proceedings after his licence was revoked amid allegations of operational activity within the Continuity IRA.

But the case centred on the alleged secrecy surrounding the basis upon which he was sent back to jail.

His lawyers argued that he was given insufficient gist of the undisclosed reasons for the move. Corey, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, received a life sentence in 1973 for the murders of two RUC men. He was freed on licence in 1992, having served 19 years behind bars.

In April 2010 the then Secretary of State Shaun Woodward ordered his recall on the basis of ‘closed material’.

His prison return led to a number of protest rallies in support of a campaign to have him freed.

In August last year the Parole Commissioners decided that the revocation of his licence should remain in force.

They considered open evidence of alleged involvement with dissident republicans, and confidential material which neither Corey nor his representatives had sight of. However Mr Justice Treacy yesterday ruled there had been a breach of Article 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights which states that anyone deprived of their liberty can have the lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court.

The judge found that the open evidence did not advance the Secretary of State's case against Corey, meaning that the decision |was solely based on closed material.

He said the open allegations either had no factual basis from which they could be rebutted, or that they were insufficiently specific to enable attempts to refute them.

Mr Justice Treacy also ruled that the Parole Commissioners misdirected themselves in law and failed to provide a sufficient safeguard against the lack of full disclosure.

He stated: “I'm going to remit the matter to the commissioners to reconsider the matter in light of the judgment of the court.

“I propose to release the applicant on unconditional bail.”

Corey was also awarded legal costs in bringing the challenge.

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