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Lawyers for UVF supergrass Gary Haggarty 'may bid to cut charges'

Lawyers for a loyalist supergrass accused of a record 212 offences may mount a legal bid to get some of the charges dropped, a court heard yesterday.

Gary Haggarty's barrister indicated that some of the alleged crimes could be the subject of a potential abuse of process application.

Haggarty, a UVF commander-turned police informer, is accused of a catalogue of killings and terrorism over a 16-year period between 1991 and 2007.

The prosecution case against the 43-year-old north Belfast man runs to 12,000 pages.

Defence barrister Fiona Doherty broke the charges down into three categories, saying with the first there was probably sufficient evidence to allow him to be returned for trial; in the second it wasn't clear if there was sufficient evidence; and the third category involved a potential abuse of process. She suggested that a summary of the evidence could be provided by the prosecution.

Judge Fiona Bagnall agreed to a further adjournment until November.

"The defence have to have an opportunity to properly go through (material) and advise their client."

Belfast Telegraph