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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 07:21 GMT
UDA distances itself from Stone
The UDA denies prior knowledge about Michael Stone's attack
The Ulster Defence Association has denied having any prior knowledge about Michael Stone's attack at Stormont.

The loyalist paramilitary group refuted claims that it sent out teams to intercept or shoot Stone before the security alert on Friday.

Police have ended their search of a house on the outskirts of east Belfast in connection with the incident.

They said the search at a bungalow on Grahamsbridge Road, Dundonald, was part of an investigation into serious crime.

It is understood that the house belongs to a former girlfriend of the loyalist killer.

There were no arrests.

Stone, 51, faces a total of five charges of attempted murder following a major security incident at Stormont on Friday during an assembly sitting.

He was also charged with possession of articles for terrorist purposes and possession of explosives.


He was returned to jail after his early release from jail under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement was suspended.

Stone 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.

He was released in 2000 after serving 12 years in prison.

Newspaper reports claimed the UDA sent out four teams to intercept and, if necessary, shoot Michael Stone before the attack at Stormont.

However, the paramilitary group's leadership issued a statement on Monday describing the reports as "completely untrue."

This was reiterated by Frankie Gallagher of the UDA's political wing, the Ulster Political Research Group.

"The Ulster Defence Association has had absolutely no prior knowledge of what Michael was doing," he said.

"That is becoming increasingly clear as time shows that he acted alone."

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