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Undercover MI5 spies 'paid performance bonus'

Undercover MI5 agents get paid performance bonuses, it has been claimed at the trial of three men facing charges arising from a sting operation against a Real IRA arms smuggling plot.

As the prosecution of three Co Armagh men wound up at Belfast Crown Court yesterday, it was revealed that an agent involved in the sting — ‘Amir’ — was paid “performance bonuses” of £1,000 on three occasions.

Lurgan men Desmond Paul Kearns (44) and Paul Anthony John McCaugherty (43), and Dermot Declan Gregory (41) from Crossmaglen, deny a total of eight charges.

One MI5 officer was asked if he was not aware of bonuses being paid, replied: “Of course I am aware that people get paid bonuses.” Another agent accepted that in “contact notes” reference was made that Amir had been paid bonuses totalling £3,000 in 2005.

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