UVF trial adjourned after key witness falls ill
The trial of nine alleged UVF killers was adjourned yesterday after a doctor said the witness giving evidence against them was too ill to take the stand.
Initially prosecution QC Gordon Kerr told Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice Gillen that supergrass Robert Stewart had told police handlers he felt unwell yesterday morning.
Stewart took the witness box momentarily but was told by Justice Gillen that he was "anxious to ascertain that you are fit and well enough to continue".
Having been told by Mr Kerr that a doctor was on the way, the judge said he would rise to allow Stewart to be seen. But within half-an-hour the judge was told the doctor considered that Stewart was not fit to give evidence for the day.
Mr Kerr added that the doctor also advised for Stewart to be seen by a psychiatrist.
Robert Stewart and his brother David Ian Stewart have agreed to turn Queen's evidence and give testimony against 14 men in exchange for lesser sentences for confessed crimes.
The brothers pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting in the murder of rival UDA chief Tommy English.