14/12/2017

Ex-UVF Chief Given Life Sentence

An ex-UVF commander has been given a life sentence for aiding and abetting in murder.

Supergrass Gary Haggarty, 45, pleaded guilty to 202 offences and at least five murders at Belfast Crown Court.

The time he will spend in prison has yet to be fixed.

Catholic men Eamon Fox and Gary Convie were both fatally shot by the UVF in Belfast in 1994.

Haggarty is likely to be given mandatory life sentences for each of the murders he has admitted.

The sentencing is expected to conclude on Thursday, 14 December.

North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said Haggarty is "effectively getting away with murder".
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He said: "The scale of collusion in this case is appalling yet he has been given a deal which means he will receive a significantly reduced prison term.

"He is effectively getting away with murder but so too are his handlers who have not faced any charges.

"That is unlikely to change while the British Government continues to frustrate all attempts to expose the extent of their collusion with loyalist death squads throughout the conflict.

"They continue to block the establishment of agreed mechanisms to deal with the past and refuse to fund legacy inquests precisely because they do not want the world to know the truth of their involvement with killers like Gary Haggarty."

(CD/LM)

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