Category: Archive

‘Mad Dog’ to stay in jail

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST — There are fears of renewed loyalist violence after the Sentence Review Commission ruled Monday that notorious UDA leader Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair must remain in jail for breaching the terms of his early release.

Loyalist leaders had threatened street protests if the ruling went against Adair. Nationalists also fear unprovoked UDA attacks, especially on workers traveling through loyalist areas.

The Sentence Review Commission had earlier given a preliminary decision that Adair be released from jail, but this was appealed by the British government on grounds that his release would not serve the community.

Adair had been released from prison in late summer 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday agreement, but he was reimprisoned last September after it was determined that he was "directing terrorism."

During an oral hearing, held at Magaberry jail, where Adair is being held, senior RUC officers, including its chief constable, revealed security information that Adair had been involved in drug dealing, paramilitary activities and had directed the UDA during his release.

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Taking this new information into account, the three-man SRC reversed its decision. Adair’s lawyers will appeal, but in the meantime he must remain in jail.

The SRC, by making its preliminary ruling, signaled its concern that serious corroborative evidence must be provided by the police before they would tolerate the return to jail of any released prisoner.

Adair’s sentence, for directing terrorism, does not expire until May 2002.

Adair, 37, was originally jailed for 16 years after an RUC "sting" operation. His habit was to boast to police officers of his many murders. They began taking notes and eventually he was convicted.

Last summer, he was regularly filmed attending pro-Orange protests at Drumcree. He was also filmed painting street signs and walls red, white and blue during pro-Orange street protests.

He was videotaped attending a Loyalist Volunteer Force "show of strength" near the Garvaghy Road in Portadown wearing a "UDA — Simply the Best" T-shirt.

British Northern Secretary Peter Mandelson welcomed the SRC ruling and said it endorsed his decision to send him back to jail for breaching his early release license.

John White of the Ulster Democratic Party, which speaks for the UDA, said the ruling was "grossly unfair.

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