MI5 plot to convict Omagh bomb suspect Liam Campbell have failed miserably to stitch-him-up with hyped up charges and MI5 agent’s, when all charges against him were dramatically dropped in Lithuania

Liam Campbell

The move comes just months after he was extradited from Ireland

OMAGH bomb suspect Liam Campbell is back in Ireland after Lithuanian authorities dropped terror charges against him

October 18th, 2022.

The move comes just months after he was extradited from Ireland following more than a decade of legal challenges.

The notorious dissident, who was extradited in May to face charges related to weapons smuggling for the Real IRA, returned home last month after a Lithuanian court ruled the statute of limitations on the charges expired four years ago.

Prosecutors are now appealing the decision, as they argue the statute of limitations is not due to expire until January.

Campbell was one of the founding members of the Real IRA and was sentenced to eight years by the Special Criminal Court for membership of the organisation in 2004.

While he was never convicted in relation to the Omagh bomb – which killed 29 people and two unborn twins in 1998 – he was one of four men found liable for the atrocity in a civil case.

He was first arrested in relation to the Lithuanian charges in 2009 but had fought several legal battles to prevent his extradition.

The Irish Supreme Court approved Campbell’s handover in May this year.

Campbell, with an address at Upper Faughart, Dundalk, Co. Louth, appeared before a court in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in August and told the court he lived in Ireland and had a family there.

He was granted bail set at €50,000 and was required to wear an ankle bracelet to track his movements.

At the hearing, his defence attorney Inga Botyriene argued the statute of limitations had expired on the charges against Campbell.

She argued that new legislation had been enacted in 2013 which categorised the crimes he was accused of as ‘serious’, and not ‘very serious’.

As a result, the statute of limitations had reduced from 15 years to 10 years and would have expired in January 2018.

Prosecutors argued the old 15-year limit should be applied as it was deemed in that category when it was committed.

However, in a ruling delivered last month, the Vilnius District Court agreed with the defence submissions and terminated the criminal case against Campbell. The decision is now being appealed to the Vilnius Court of Appeal.

When contacted by the Sunday World this week, Ms Botyriene said Campbell has since returned to Ireland.

“By the decision of the Vilnius Regional Court on September 12, the criminal case against my client, Liam Campbell, was terminated, as the statute of limitations for holding him criminally liable expired on 21 January 2018,” she said.

“This is the decision of the court. The prosecution has appealed to the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, but the process of considering the appeal has not yet been started.

“Liam Campbell is currently in Ireland with the permission of the court.”

In a European Arrest Warrant, the Lithuanian authorities alleged that while acting in an organised terrorist group, the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA), Campbell made arrangements to acquire a substantial number of firearms and explosives from Lithuania and smuggle them into Ireland.

It was further alleged that, at the end of 2006 to 2007, Campbell made arrangements with others to travel to Lithuania for the purposes of acquiring firearms and explosives, including automatic rifles, sniper guns, projectors, detonators, timers and TNT.

It was alleged he asked British cigarette smuggler Robert Jardine to set up a contact with a Lithuanian arms dealer to supply the weapons to the Real IRA. However, Jardine had been recruited years earlier to work for the British spy agency MI5.

Jardine, who has since gone into witness protection, alleged he met dissidents including Campbell to discuss the plot.

Campbell was arrested in May 2009 on a European Arrest Warrant in relation to the Lithuanian charges and spent four years in Maghaberry Prison in the North before being released in 2013 after the Belfast Recorders Court refused to approve his extradition, saying could he exposed to inhuman and degrading conditions while in prison in Lithuania.

He was arrested in Dundalk on December 2, 2016, on foot of the second European Arrest Warrant issued by Lithuanian authorities. It was the third attempt overall by Lithuania to seek his surrender.

Both the High Court and Court of Appeal had ordered that he be extradited to the Baltic state. However, he appealed those findings to the Supreme Court.

The length of time those appeals took meant the statute of limitations had expired by the time Campbell was finally extradited this year.

Liam Campbell’s brother Michael was found guilty of terror offences by a Lithuanian court in October 2011 following an MI5 sting operation in 2008, when he was recorded attempting to buy explosives and guns.

He was videoed meeting a person he thought was a Lithuanian arms dealer but was actually a Lithuanian security agent.

He was sentenced to 12 years behind bars but the conviction was overturned on appeal after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to deny statements that his actions had been provoked by undercover MI5 agents.

Liam Campbell had been a member of the Provisional IRA but left in 1997 and was a founding member of the Real IRA, which opposed the peace process.

He is no longer believed to be a member of the organisation, which morphed into the so-called New IRA in recent years.

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Alan Sherry for the original story.

Follow this link to find out more on this story: Welcome Home Liam Campbell

Omagh bomb suspect Liam Campbell back in Ireland after terror charges dramatically dropped in Lithuania

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