Firearms and explosives charges against loyalist supergrass are dropped
Some charges against a loyalist supergrass accused of a catalogue of murders and paramilitary crimes are to be dropped, it was revealed yesterday.
Gary Haggarty is longer to be prosecuted for three alleged offences, understood to relate to possessing explosives and firearms, his lawyers said.
His legal team are also set to challenge the "propriety" of prosecuting a man who they say worked as a state agent for some over the remaining 209 counts against him.
Belfast Magistrates' Court was told yesterday that a hearing to decide if the suspected Ulster Volunteer Force commander turned police informer had a case to answer was scheduled for a date in November.
Haggarty (44) has been waiting to discover if he will stand trial since signing an agreement to become an assisting offender under the terms of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) in 2010.
The north Belfast man was charged with a record 212 charges covering a 16-year period between 1991 and 2007.
The prosecution case against him runs to 12,000 pages, with his alleged offences including:
• Five murders, 31 charges of conspiracy to murder and six attempted murders;
• Four kidnappings, six false imprisonments and five hijackings.
• Twelve charges of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life and 47 counts of having a firearm with intent.
• Eighteen charges of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
• Three counts of arson, conspiracy to defraud and concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct.
• Two charges each of directing terrorism and belonging to a proscribed organisation.
• Seven counts of possessing money or property for the purposes of terrorism.
Loyalist supergrass Haggarty, whose address was given in court as c/o the Police Service of Northern Ireland, is believed to be living at a secret location in England.