A judge who granted unconditional bail to a convicted double murderer did not have the power to do so, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Martin Corey is now expected to remain in jail for at least two more months after lawyers for the Secretary of State were granted a stay on his release. The 61-year-old, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, received a life sentence in 1973 for the murders of two RUC men.
He was freed on licence in 1992, but in April 2010 former Secretary of State Shaun Woodward ordered his prison recall on the basis of ‘closed material’.
Earlier this week, Corey won a judicial review over a subsequent Parole Commissioners’ decision which kept him behind bars. A High Court judge held that their determination on whether it was safe to release him had breached his rights under European Law.
He 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 also said the commissioners misdirected themselves in law and failed to provide a sufficient safeguard against the lack of full disclosure.
The commissioners were directed to reconsider the case and Corey was granted unconditional bail.
But pending a full appeal against the judgment, the Secretary of State’s counsel applied for a stay on the bail order.
Karen Quinlivan QC, for Corey, claimed the judgment meant the legality of her client's detention was in question.
However, enforcement of the bail order was stayed until a full hearing of the appeal, listed for September 28. Although the judges refused leave to appeal their determination to the Supreme Court, Corey's lawyers may seek to make a direct petition.
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On Monday, Mr Justice Treacy ruled that Parole Commissioners breached Corey’s human rights in refusing to release him from prison. The judge directed that Corey (right) should be released on unconditional bail. Lawyers for the Secretary of State later returned to the High Court seeking a stay on that order.