Page last updated at 19:03 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Judge in 'supergrass' trial dies

Court of Appeal
Lord Justice Kelly sat at the Court of Appeal

A judge who presided over one of Northern Ireland's most high-profile supergrass trials has died.

Sir Basil Kelly died at home following a short illness. He was 87.

Lord Justice Kelly jailed 22 alleged IRA members for more than 4,000 years in 1983, after evidence from so-called "supergrass" Christopher Black.

He was a former Attorney General in Northern Ireland and an Ulster Unionist MP in the old NI parliament.

Eighteen of those jailed in the 1983 case were freed three years later when they had their convictions quashed.

During the trial Lord Justice Kelly wore a bullet-proof vest and was protected by two policemen.

When he was in London to prepare his judgment, he was given round-the-clock protection by SAS officers.

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