Irish Republican News · March 29, 2013
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Liam Campbell bailed as ‘Real IRA’ cases proceed
Liam Campbell bailed as ‘Real IRA’ cases proceed

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A former member of the Real IRA’s ruling army council has just been released from the jail where he was held for four years during a lengthy extradition battle.

He is wanted in Lithuania over allegations he was behind a gun-running plot alongside his brother, who continues to be held there in appalling conditions.

The Lithuanian authorities have fought a lengthy legal battle to extradite Campbell to face questioning and possible charges over an arms’ plot which could have seen him behind bars for a decade.

His brother Michael is already serving a 12-year sentence in Lithuania after being lured into an MI5 sting operation with a team of intelligence agents offering to provide weapons to the men.

In January, the Belfast Recorders Court refused to order Campbell’s transfer to the Baltic state. Judge Tom Burgess said he could be exposed to inhuman and degrading conditions.

Days later, Campbell applied for bail at Belfast High Court but was refused. But further efforts by his lawyers were finally successful and he was released last Thursday.

He had spent most of his time there in isolation following a dispute on the republican wing by former Real IRA comrades.

He was accused of involvement in the 1998 Omagh bomb, but was never brought to trial.

NEW OMAGH APPEAL

But two other republicans found financially responsible for the 1998 Omagh bomb are set to again appeal the verdict, it has been confirmed.

In the unusual legal action, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were sued for damages by some victims’ relatives in a civil court, which requires a lesser standard of evidence.

Colm Murphy was convicted of involvement in the attack in 2002 but succeeded in overturning his conviction on appeal in 2005.

Even though a previous court case in 2009 found the two financially responsible, they successfully appealed this before being required to face the same civil action again. Last week the two men were again found culpable.

Liam Campbell and prominent republican Michael McKevitt (currently in prison for ‘directing’ the Real IRA) were also held responsible in the 2009 judgement, but failed to have it overturned.

SHIVERS JUDGEMENT AWAITED

Meanwhile judgement in the retrial of Brian Shivers, accused of involvement in the ‘Real IRA’ attack on Massereene British Army base, has been reserved after three weeks of evidence.

Mr Shivers had a murder conviction in the case overturned in January before the current retrial was ordered. Suffering from life-threatening cystic fibrosis, he was finally released on bail earlier this month, as he was before his first trial.

Belfast Crown Court judge Justice Deeney, presiding over a Diplock, juryless courtroom, heard final submissions in his retrial this week.

Both sides agreed claims of a DNA link to the alleged ‘getaway’ car was key. It is also again acknowledged that Mr Shivers could not have been directly involved in the ‘Real IRA’ ambush in which two British soldiers died.

While Mr Mooney contended the DNA proved 47-year-old Shivers was a “secondary party” to the murderous attack by allegedly destroying the getaway car, Mr Pownall said it proved nothing.

The prosecution this week added new charges to the indictment, including one of ‘assisting offenders’, possibly in the belief that a murder conviction may now be impossible to achieve.

© 2013 Irish Republican News