Saturday 25 October 2014

Irishman cleared of buying guns for Real IRA

Michael McHugh

Published 03/10/2013 | 04:00

Michael Campbell

AN Irishman cleared by a court in Lithuania of trying to buy weapons for the Real IRA (RIRA) may seek compensation.

Michael Campbell (41) smiled as police removed his handcuffs and set him free in the capital Vilnius after his appeal was upheld.

He was arrested in an MI5 sting as he allegedly tried to buy guns and explosives for the organisation which bombed Omagh and was later convicted.

But yesterday a judge said there was not enough evidence to deny that he was provoked by British secret service agents.

Mr Campbell said: "I am very happy. I will go to Ireland as soon as possible."

Mr Campbell, from Dundalk, Co Louth, is a younger brother of the alleged founder of the RIRA. Liam Campbell was accused by relatives of involvement in the Omagh blast.

Michael Campbell was arrested in 2008 following an international surveillance operation involving MI5 and Irish and Lithuanian intelligence services.

According to prosecutors it was shown that he paid about €6,000 for grenade launchers, detonators, guns and explosives.

He was convicted in October 2011 of supporting a terrorist group and sentenced to 12 years. His lawyer said he was the victim of entrapment and warned he could claim compensation.

Irish Independent

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