07 May 2006

‘Not right man for hit’

Daily Ireland

**Via Newshound

Murderer backs target he was ordered to kill

by Ciarán Barnes

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usA loyalist murderer has risked the wrath of his paramilitary bosses by publicly backing the man he has been ordered to kill.
When leading north Belfast loyalist Mark Haddock was released from prison on bail in January, the Ulster Volunteer Force ordered one of its hitmen — a paramilitary known as Mr Muscles — to murder him.
Mr Muscles is responsible for a string of killings, including that of Raymond McCord Junior in November 1997. The hit on Mr Haddock was endorsed by the Combined Loyalist Military Command, an umbrella body combining the leaders of the main loyalist paramilitary organisations.
The UVF believes Mr Haddock is a Special Branch informer who has been passing on UVF secrets to detectives for 15 years.
Mr Muscles is a long-standing friend of Mr Haddock but was told to kill him to prove his loyalty to the organisation. In the three months since Mr Haddock’s release, he has yet to make an attempt on the 37-year-old’s life. Eyebrows were raised outside Belfast’s Crown Court on Wednesday when Mr Muscles was seen laughing and joking with Mr Haddock. Loyalist sources told Daily Ireland that Mr Muscles’ continuing friendship with his supposed target had angered the UVF’s Shankill Road leadership in west Belfast.
“Mr Muscles was told to kill Haddock when he got bail at the end of the January,” said one source.
“He hasn’t done a thing yet and the boys on the Shankill couldn’t believe it when they heard he was laughing and joking with Haddock outside court on Wednesday.
“People are starting to ask questions about him, whether he is the right man for the job and whether he has ever had any intention to kill Haddock.”
Mr Haddock has been warned by the PSNI that the UVF is targeting him. He was in court for the resumption of his trial in connection with an attack on pub doorman Trevor Gowdy. He is accused of attempting to murder Mr Gowdy, falsely imprisoning him and setting his car on fire.

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