The trial of veteran loyalist Winston Churchill Rea for his alleged involvement in murder and other terrorist crimes committed by the outlawed Red Hand Commando has been adjourned for at least a fortnight because of the Covid pandemic.
Trial judge Mr Justice McAlinden also heard that the 69-year-old alleged former RHC chief is recovering after a fall at his Springwell Road home in Groomsport, Co Down.
Whilst acknowledging concerns and frustrations, Mr Justice McAlinden said it was clearly inevitable the trial would have to be adjourned at this stage.
However, he called on both the prosecution and defence to provide him with "an appropriately detailed road map" for a way forward, to ensure the continuation of a "fair trial process".
Defence counsel Ian Turkington told the non-jury hearing that Mr Rea, whose prosecution is mainly founded on his alleged taped confessions to the US Boston College, is still a vulnerable person with regard to Covid.
Mr Turkington said the matter could be reviewed in two weeks time.