Martin Corey must remain in jail ahead of appeal

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A convicted double murderer who won a legal challenge against being returned to prison must remain in jail while the secretary of state appeals against his release, it has emerged.

On Monday, a High Court judge ruled Martin Corey, 61, from Lurgan, should be freed on unconditional bail.

However, Corey's release has been put on hold because of the fresh challenge.

He was released on licence in 1992 but this was revoked in 2010 over alleged involvement with dissident republicans.

Corey was sentenced to life in 1973 for murdering two RUC officers.


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

Start Quote

The stay which the court ordered provisionally yesterday will be extended until further order of the Court of Appeal.”

End Quote Mr Justice McCloskey

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.

On Monday, Mr Justice Treacy ruled that the commissioners had breached his human rights in refusing to release him.

The judge said the commissioners should reconsider the matter and directed that, in the meantime, Corey should be released on unconditional bail.

However, lawyers for Secretary of State Owen Paterson later returned to the High Court seeking a stay while an appeal is prepared.

Corey's barrister opposed the request, arguing there was no jurisdiction to grant the application.

Karen Quinlivan QC also claimed it was inappropriate to put Corey's release on hold following an initial hearing at which she was not present.

However, another judge, Mr Justice McCloskey, decided on Tuesday: "The stay which the court ordered provisionally yesterday will be extended until further order of the Court of Appeal."

A fresh ruling is expected to be made by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

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