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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 11:23 GMT
Adair fails in prison challenge
Loyalist leader Johnny Adair has failed in his legal challenge aimed at getting him released from prison.

Adair, 39, was not in court on Tuesday to hear the Lord Chief Justice dismiss his application for judicial review of Secretary of State Paul Murphy's decision to send him back to jail.

Mr Murphy revoked Adair's early release licence and sent him back to Maghaberry jail on 10 January.

The Northern Ireland secretary said Adair had been involved in a litany of terrorist crimes including directing terrorism, drug dealing, extortion and weapons offences.

When the facts have been established, then the decision whether to revoke will be to a large extent clear and obvious
Sir Robert Carswell

Adair's lawyers had submitted that the decision to jail him was unlawful because he had been denied a fair and public hearing of the charges levelled against him.

It was argued that Adair had not been stopped, questioned, interviewed or arrested before being sent back to prison.

Early release

In Tuesday's reserved judgement, Sir Robert Carswell said the requirements of fairness in domestic law had been met.

As regards Adair's human rights under the European Convention, he said he was inclined to the view that the right to a fair and public hearing had not been engaged.

"Revocation cases are more akin to judicial determinations, dependant to a large extent on ascertaining the facts about matters alleged against the person on licence," said Lord Justice Carswell.

"When the facts have been established, then the decision whether to revoke will be to a large extend clear and obvious."

Adair must now remain in prison until January 2005, to complete the sentence of 16 years he received in 1995 for directing terrorism.

The Shankill Road loyalist was involved in a feud with other members of the Ulster Defence Association since he was expelled from the organisation along with John White several months ago.

It is the second time Adair has been returned to jail since his original early release.

He had previously been returned to prison for breaching licence conditions in August 2000 after being released from prison under the terms of the Agreement a year earlier.

On 15 May, 2002, he was released having reached the 50% point of his sentence.

The 39-year-old was sentenced in 1996 to 16 years imprisonment for directing terrorism by the Ulster Freedom Fighters.



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