Monday 19 August 2019

Murder victim niece's anger as IRA man released after four days in German jail

Jim Corry, who was jailed for four years for his part in the attack on Osnabrueck army base.
He was freed after just four days. Photo: Courtpix
Jim Corry, who was jailed for four years for his part in the attack on Osnabrueck army base. He was freed after just four days. Photo: Courtpix

Rebecca Black

The niece of a young woman murdered by the IRA in Germany has expressed her disbelief after a man convicted of another attack in the country served just four days in jail.

Melanie Anan is the niece of Heidi Hazell (26), who was gunned down by the IRA as she sat in her car in the town of Unna Massen, near Dortmund, in 1989. She was married to a soldier who had been stationed in the area at the time.

Ms Anan has been campaigning for her aunt's killer to be brought to justice, and got the German police investigation into the murder reopened in 2015.

But the release of an IRA bomber after just four days in a German jail has been a bitter blow to her campaign.

It was reported at the weekend that Jim Corry (48), an actor from north Belfast - who was jailed on October 25 after being sentenced to four years for the 1996 attack at a British army base in Osnabrueck - was freed on October 29.

He flew into Dublin the following day and was treated to a welcome home party that evening.

Ms Anan told the 'Belfast Telegraph' she was sickened to learn that Corry's return home to Ireland was celebrated by leading republicans and also by a senior Sinn Féin politician.

Ms Anan previously said she had hoped Germany would be tougher on IRA terrorists than the UK had been after it emerged that republican fugitives had been given 'letters of comfort' telling them they were no longer wanted by UK police.

But last night those hopes were dashed, and she asked her own country's government the simple question: "What is wrong with you?"

Ms Anan said she was very angry about the situation.

There has been no indication of why Corry was released by the German authorities after just four days.

A post on the Irish Republican Prisoner News Facebook page said one year of Corry's four-year sentence was waived because of an "unlawful delay".

The German Embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment last night.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson also questioned the release of Corry, saying there would be "understandable anger" that he had only served four days in prison after his conviction and four-year sentence.

"We need an explanation from the German authorities, and they should also reveal whether they were lobbied by Sinn Féin to release Corry," he said.

During his trial in July, Corry admitted being part of an IRA unit that attempted to fire three explosive shells at the base.

The court was also told that Corry no longer has any involvement with the IRA.

Corry, who was extradited to Germany last December, had only been expected to serve a nominal two years in prison because the bombing he was convicted of took place before the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Although the agreement does not apply in Germany, the authorities there were expected to honour its terms.

Irish Independent

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