Belfast Telegraph

Niece of gun victim tells of anger as IRA bomber Corry serves just four days

By Rebecca Black

The niece of a young woman murdered by the IRA in Germany has expressed her disbelief after a man convicted of another attack in the country served just four days in jail.

Melanie Anan is the niece of Heidi Hazell (26), who was gunned down as she sat in her car in the town of Unna Massen, near Dortmund, in 1989.

She was married to a soldier who had been stationed in the area at the time.

Ms Anan has been campaigning for her aunt's killer to be brought to justice, and got the police investigation into the murder reopened in 2015.

But the release of an IRA bomber after just four days in a German jail has been a bitter blow.

Sunday Life revealed yesterday that Jim Corry from north Belfast - who was jailed on October 25 after being sentenced to four years for the 1996 attack at a British Army base in Osnabrueck - was freed on October 29. He flew into Dublin the following day and was treated to a welcome home party that evening.

Ms Anan told the Belfast Telegraph that she was sickened to learn that Corry's return home was celebrated by republicans including Sinn Fein TD and former IRA leader Martin Ferris.

Ms Anan previously said she had hoped Germany would be tougher on IRA terrorists than the UK had been after it emerged that republican fugitives had been given 'letters of comfort' telling them they were no longer wanted by police.

But last night those hopes were dashed, and she asked her own country's government the simple question: "What is wrong with you?"

There has been no indication of why Corry was released by the German authorities after just four days. A post on the Irish Republican Prisoner News Facebook page said one year of Corry's four-year sentence was waived because of an "unlawful delay".

The Belfast Telegraph contacted the German Embassy in the UK in London yesterday, but did not receive a response.

Ms Anan said she was very angry about the situation.

The German said she was determined to open the eyes of her country to the IRA by making a film.

"Dear State, you put people in jail because they can't pay their bills and terrorists are allowed to mingle with society again," she said. "We are planning on making a German short film to wake people here up.

"In this film I will reveal all my research and my findings, and that based on those the Federal Prosecutor decided to reopen the case. We will also showcase how the terrorists were let go home free... even here in Germany! And that without words they still honoured the GFA (Good Friday Agreement), because all he spent in jail was 24 months, the most any terrorist should spend in jail, according to the GFA!"

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson also questioned the release of Corry.

"There will be understandable anger that he only served four days in prison after his conviction and four-year sentence," he told Sunday Life.

During his trial in July, Corry admitted being part of an IRA unit that attempted to fire three explosive shells at the base. The court was also told that Corry no longer had any involvement with the IRA.

Corry (48), who was extradited to Germany last December, had only been expected to serve a nominal two years in prison because the bombing he was convicted of took place before the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Although the peace accord does not apply in Germany, the authorities there were expected to honour its terms.

Sir Jeffrey added: "I cannot see how early release would apply in this case as Germany does not fall under the terms of the Belfast Agreement.

"We need an explanation from the German authorities, and they should also reveal whether they were lobbied by Sinn Fein to release Corry."

Actor Corry once had a role as a British squaddie in a Channel 4 production called High Boot Benny.

He also played an RUC officer opposite Amanda Burton and Kevin McNally in The Precious Blood, a BBC drama about a political killing in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

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