Northern Ireland

Martin Corey wins challenge against prison return

Belfast's High Court
Image caption Martin Corey won permission at Belfast's High Court

A man convicted of murdering two policemen has won his court challenge against being returned to prison.

Martin Corey, 61, from County Armagh, is to be freed on unconditional bail.

On Monday, a judge ruled that parole commissioners breached his human rights in refusing to release him. Corey was sentenced to life in 1973 and was released on licence in 1992.

But his licence was revoked in 2010 over unspecified allegations he was involved with dissident republicans.

The former Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward ordered Corey's recall on the basis of "closed material".

The case centred on the alleged secrecy surrounding the basis upon which Corey was sent back to jail. His lawyers argued that he was given insufficient understanding of the undisclosed reasons for the move.

In August last year the Parole Commissioners decided that the revocation of his licence should remain in force.

'Misdirected'

They considered open evidence of alleged involvement with dissident republicans, and confidential material of which neither Corey nor his representatives had sight.

On Monday, Mr Justice Treacy held there had been a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights which states that anyone deprived of their liberty can have the lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court.

The judge found that the open evidence did not advance the Northern Ireland Secretary's case against Corey, meaning that the decision was solely based on closed material.

Mr Justice Treacy also ruled that the Parole Commissioners misdirected themselves in law and failed to provide a sufficient safeguard against the lack of full disclosure.

He stated: "I'm going to remit the matter to the commissioners to reconsider the matter in light of the judgment of the court."

Corey was also awarded legal costs in bringing the challenge.

Mr Justice Treacy granted leave to apply for a judicial review due to be heard in March.

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