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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May, 2005, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Papers seized in ex-UDA boss case
Former UDA leader Jim Gray
Former UDA leader Jim Gray
Former east Belfast UDA chief Jim Gray has been refused bail in the High Court after a judge said he could not be certain he would not flee.

The 47-year-old, from Knockwood Park in Belfast, is charged with possessing and concealing criminal property and money laundering. He denies the charges.

A Crown lawyer said more than 100,000 documents had been seized and another person had been arrested on Tuesday.

Police had raided council offices and planning offices, the court heard.

The offices of solicitors, estate agents and accountants were also raided, said the lawyer.

Mr Gray was arrested near Banbridge in County Down on 7 April along with his girlfriend Sharon Moss.

This is a man who went to his bank and withdrew his legitimately held money - the police have had six weeks and have come up with nothing
Defence lawyer

Police allegedly found a bank draft for 10,000 euros and almost 3,000 in cash in his car.

Opposing bail, a Crown lawyer said Mr Gray had told police the bank draft and cash represented part of the proceeds of the sale of two pubs in east Belfast - the Avenue One and the Bunch of Grapes, which earned him 130,000

'Standing down'

He said the defendant claimed he had saved up 10,000 as a deposit for one of the pubs, but it was the prosecution's case the money was obtained through criminal activities, as was the proceeds of the pub sales.

"Gray is central to this investigation and it's feared that if he was released he would remove evidence and interfere with witnesses," said the lawyer.

"He may have access to or own property in Spain and when he was arrested he had his passport and on his own admission could have travelled to Spain if there had been any adverse reports about him following his standing down from the UDA."

A defence lawyer said there was no evidence Mr Gray was a member of any illegal organisation and was not charged with that.

"He was leaving quite legitimately with money which was legitimate, too," said the lawyer.

"Police are suggesting he was going on the run. From what? This is a man who went to his bank and withdrew his legitimately held money. The police have had six weeks and have come up with nothing."

Lord Justice Campbell said the Crown had concerns about Gray interfering with their investigation and also leaving the jurisdiction.

"On both grounds it seems to me there is a risk," said the judge.


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