Northern Ireland

Former UVF leader Gary Haggarty granted bail by Belfast court

A former UVF leader charged with murder has been granted bail on the condition he keeps his whereabouts a secret.

Gary Haggarty, 40, from north Belfast, is charged with the killing of taxi driver William Harbinson in May 1997.

He has been held in custody since agreeing to testify against former associates in return for a lighter sentence.

Mr Haggarty is also charged with eight other offences.

They include directing terrorism, UVF membership, conspiracy to murder and firearms and explosives offences.

The charges were brought against him following an investigation by the Historical Enquiries Team.

In January 2010 he agreed to become an assisting offender under the terms of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA).

Some 30,000 pages of material and 760 interview tapes have been amassed from interviews conducted with him.

Mr Haggarty's lawyers successfully applied for bail during a brief hearing at Belfast Magistrates Court.

Mr Haggarty's case is due to be mentioned again next month, with committal proceedings expected next year.