Northern Ireland

Gary Haggarty: PPS reviews decision not to prosecute handlers

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Gary Haggarty is the former leader of the UVF in north Belfast

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is to review a decision not to bring criminal charges against two retired police officers who were allegedly complicit in many of the crimes committed by a loyalist supergrass.

Gary Haggarty is the former leader of the UVF in north Belfast.

He was released from prison last week and taken to a secret location.

Haggarty admitted committing more than 500 offences, including five murders, most while he was a police informer.

He claimed two of his Special Branch handlers directed some of his activities and protected him from prosecution.

Lawyers acting for relatives of one of his victims mounted a legal challenge against a decision by the PPS not to prosecute those police officers.

The former director of the PPS, Barra McGrory, said there was insufficient evidence to do so.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Gary Haggarty was a former commander of an Ulster Volunteer Force unit in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast

The legal action was taken by the son-in-law of Sean McParland, 55, who was shot dead by Haggarty while babysitting his grandchildren at Skegoniel Avenue in north Belfast in February 1994.

In the High Court it was revealed that the PPS will now review its position, and a fresh decision is expected by the end of June.

In January so-called supergrass Haggarty received a six-and-a-half-year jail sentence after confessing to more than 500 offences.

But he was released last week because of time already served on remand and as a sentenced prisoner.

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