Belfast Telegraph

UVF supergrass facing a record 212 charges in 12,000 page 'terror dossier'

By Alan Erwin

The prosecution case against a so-called loyalist supergrass charged with a catalogue of murders and paramilitary crimes now runs to 12,000 pages, a court has heard.

The full scale of the body of evidence gathered on Gary Haggarty was revealed as his lawyers sought time to study all the material.

Haggarty, a suspected UVF commander-turned police informer, is facing a record 212 charges.

Spanning a 16-year period between 1991 and 2007, the alleged offences include:

• Five murders, 31 conspiracy to murder and six attempted murders.

• Four kidnappings, six false imprisonment and five hijacking.

• Twelve 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.

The alleged offences span a 16-year period between 1991 and 2007.

Haggarty (43) signed an agreement to become an assisting offender under the terms of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) in 2010. Although the north Belfast man's address on court papers is listed as c/o the PSNI, he is now believed to be living at a secret location in England.

Last month it was confirmed that prosecutors have completed editing and redacting - blacking out sensitive information - all papers in the case against him. The policy is not to detail suspected criminality involving other loyalists or police Special Branch officers.

Defence lawyers had been battling to gain access to the files. Barrister Martin O'Rourke QC yesterday told Belfast Magistrates Court that those issues have been resolved, with all files copied over. He disclosed: "We estimate there's somewhere in the region of 12,000 pages."

With a date for any preliminary enquiry proceedings still to be set, Mr O'Rourke suggested a further review in September.

A Public Prosecution Service representative insisted it was keen for the case to progress as soon as possible.

Emphasising the opportunity for paperwork to be carried out over the summer, District Judge Fiona Bagnall said the defence must be given an opportunity to consider the material.

"There has been considerable delay," she added.

"I'm not putting blame on any-body because it's a unique case, but at the same time I want to try and keep as consistent progress as we can in the case."

She confirmed a further court review will be held in September this year.

Belfast Telegraph


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