Arraignment of UVF supergrass put back

Gary Haggarty
Gary Haggarty

UVF supergrass Gary Haggarty is to be formally arraigned on over 200 terrorist charges in the summer, a court heard yesterday.

Haggarty (46), whose address was given as c/o PSNI Knocknagoney in east Belfast, was due to be arraigned on April 28.

The former tyre fitter is facing 202 charges - including five murders, five attempted murders and 66 firearms offences - linked to UVF activity in the 1990s and 2000s.

The charges span 16 years and include offences of directing UVF activities in south-east Antrim.

During a review of his case at Belfast Crown Court, a senior defence counsel told Mr Justice Treacy that the April arraignment would not now proceed.

Martin O’Rourke QC told the court: “We are now asking for a substantial adjournment to consider the material in the case and the reasons for that are two-fold: firstly, there had been the issue of getting legal aid in the case and secondly the substantial amount of papers in the case.”

Mr Justice Treacy set the date for the new arraignment hearing for Friday, June 23 for all 202 charges.

The judge added that if matters had progressed before that, then the defence team should come back to the court and an early date for the arraignment could be fixed.