Belfast Telegraph

New legal bid to jail UVF brothers Robert and Ian Stewart

By Alan Erwin

One of the men acquitted of murder at a major supergrass trial has launched a legal bid to have two brothers who provided flawed evidence against him face a possible return to jail.

Jason Loughlin is challenging the Public Prosecution Service's (PPS) decision not to refer self-confessed UVF members Robert and Ian Stewart back to the judge who slashed their prison sentences in return for becoming assisting offenders.

The pair were ruled to have lied in court as they testified against Mr Loughlin and 11 other men cleared of all charges linked to the paramilitary murder of rival UDA boss Tommy English in 2000 and dozens of other terror-related offences.

The brothers, who admitted roles in the murder, agreed to give evidence against alleged former associates in exchange for their 22-year sentences being reduced to three years.

But despite acknowledging they broke the terms of the deal, the PPS decided not to seek to have their original sentences reimposed. It was concluded that the breaches did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the 2012 trial.

Now, however, Mr Loughlin (38), from Newtownabbey, is seeking a judicial review of the senior prosecutor's decision.

Yesterday's High Court hearing was adjourned until the autumn after Mr Loughlin's barrister argued that all of the alleged breaches by the brothers were not properly examined.

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