28 October 2005

McKevitt to launch court appeal


28/10/2005 - 13:18:42

Jailed "Real IRA" leader Michael McKevitt is to launch an appeal against his conviction for directing the activities of a terrorist organisation.

The Court of Criminal Appeal was yesterday told the case, which will run for four days, will go ahead in two weeks time.

The three-judge court will first have to read the transcripts of the 27-day trial before the Special Criminal Court two years ago.

Michael McKevitt (aged 52) Beech Park, Blackrock, Dundalk, Co Louth was jailed for 20 years by the Special Criminal Court for directing the activities of a terrorist organisation between August 29, 1999 and October 23rd, 2000.

The court also imposed a concurrent six-year sentence for membership of an unlawful organisation, styling itself Oglaigh na hEireann, commonly referred to as the "Real IRA".

Passing sentence in the Special Criminal Court Mr Justice Richard Johnson presiding said McKevitt played a leading role in the organisation referred to as the Real IRA.

The court was satisfied that the offences for which McKevitt was convicted were "planned and pre-meditated "and caused serious harm to people and property.

The court said the offences for which McKevitt were convicted were outside the date of the Omagh bombing.

"The court must not be seen to seek revenge for that atrocity and would not seek to do so," Mr Justice Johnson said. The appeal will go ahead on November 8 next.

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