PUP Leader Cllr Billy Hutchinson has strongly welcomed today’s decision by the Divisional Court to quash the decision of the PPS not to refer Stewart Brothers back to sentencing court.
Ian and Robert Stewart had turned ‘Queen’s Evidence’ against a dozen UVF suspects over the murder of UDA man Tommy English and a range of other paramilitary related offences.
However, trial judge Mr Justice Gillen dismissed the charges in March 2012 against the defendants after he found the evidence of the Stewart brothers not sufficient to convict saying they were of “extremely bad character”.
Cllr Hutchinson said: “The Court concluded that the reasoning of the prosecutor was flawed and that the prosecutor did not ask the right questions when considering whether it was in the interests of justice to refer the sentences to the court.
“The case is listed for mention next Tuesday for the parties to make submissions to the court on any further orders that the Court should make.
“We will be following the developments closely. ”
The Belfast councillor added: “This decision further reinforces what we have felt all along – that the supergrass system is fundamentally flawed and undermine’s public confidence in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.”