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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 20:44 GMT
Stone's release licence suspended
Loyalist Michael Stone appeared in court in Belfast
Loyalist Michael Stone appeared in court in Belfast
Loyalist Michael Stone, freed from jail early under the Good Friday agreement, has had his release licence suspended.

He was arrested after a security breach at Stormont and later charged with attempting to murder Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said the move followed Stone's "actions on Friday and after consideration of a police report into what took place".

Stone, 51, also faces five charges of attempted murder after the incident.

He was also charged with possession of articles for terrorist purposes and possession of explosives when he appeared in court on Saturday.

Stone was released in 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, after serving 12 years in prison.

He was sentenced to almost 700 years in jail for six murders, three of which were committed during a lone gun and grenade attack on an IRA funeral in Belfast in 1988.


An order suspending his licence was signed by Northern Ireland Office Minister Paul Goggins, on behalf of Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain, on Saturday.

In his statement, Mr Hain said Stone was "in clear breach of the conditions of his release".

Under the terms of the licence, prisoners released early can be sent back to jail if they become re-involved with terrorism, or are considered a risk to the public.

When Stone was convicted, the trial judge recommended that he should serve a minimum of 30 years.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr will now decide how much more of the life sentence he must serve.

If he accepts the minimum recommendation tariff set by the trial judge, Stone will spend another 18 years in jail.

Stone, who appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on Saturday in connection with the incident at the Northern Ireland Assembly during a sitting, is also charged with possessing an imitation firearm.

In addition to being charged with attempting to murder the Sinn Fein leaders, he is accused of trying to murder two security guards and a person unknown.

The court heard the articles allegedly for terrorist purposes included nailbombs, an axe and a garrotte.

A police officer confirmed to Stone's solicitor that during two police interviews, the defendant had told police "he acted alone in that no other person or organisations were involved in the preparation or planning".

The defendant was remanded in custody until 22 December.

Michael Stone at Stormont

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