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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 21:46 GMT 22:46 UK
Former loyalist leader shot dead
Police cordoned off the area around the body
Police cordoned off the area around the body
Leading loyalist Jim Gray has been shot dead in east Belfast.

Mr Gray, a former leader of the Ulster Defence Association in the east of the city, was recently released on bail on charges of money laundering.

The 47-year-old was shot at his house on the Clarawood estate after answering the front door to two gunmen at about 2000 BST on Tuesday.

He had been living in the house in Knockwood Park with his father since being released on bail last month.

Mr Gray was expelled from the leadership of the UDA in March.

Cash

He was arrested just over one week later after being stopped by police near Banbridge travelling in a car towards the Irish border. Police suspected he was trying to leave the country.

Former UDA leader Jim Gray
Jim Gray had been recently released on bail

The police found a bankers draft for 10,000 euro and nearly 3,000 in cash in his car.

Mr Gray claimed the money had come from the sale of two pubs in east Belfast.

However, police believed it was obtained through crime including extortion and drug dealing.

He was charged with money laundering and possessing the proceeds of crime and was remanded in custody.

As the police investigation continued, detectives seized more than 100,000 documents and raided council offices, planning offices and premises used by solicitors, estate agents and accountants.

Mr Gray continued to apply for bail which was granted last month on condition that he lived at the address where he was shot on Tuesday.

Mr Gray's murder has been condemned by the DUP's Peter Robinson.

"Those who take the law into their own hands have nothing to contribute to society," the East Belfast MP said.

"There is no excuse for acting as judge, jury and executioner."

'No retaliation'

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers has appealed for no retaliation for the shooting.

"Regardless of what the victim has been accused of doing, no-one has the right to take the law into their own hands," he said.

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood has also condemned the shooting.

He said he hoped the situation would not escalate to a point where others, including innocent people, might be killed or injured.

In September 2002, Mr Gray was shot in the face as he arrived at a house in the Garnerville area of east Belfast.

At the time, police said the shooting was "loosely related" to the murder of Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Stephen Warnock, who was shot dead as part of a feud between loyalist paramilitaries.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See pictures of Jim Gray before his death



SEE ALSO:
Papers seized in ex-UDA boss case
31 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
Ex-UDA leader's accounts frozen
14 Apr 05 |  Northern Ireland


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