Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 11:07 UK

Haddock in court over 1997 murder

Mark Haddock

Mark Haddock has denied the charges against him

Loyalist leader Mark Haddock has appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court charged with the murder of John Harbinson in May 1997.

He died after being handcuffed and beaten by a UVF gang on the Mount Vernon estate in north Belfast.

Haddock, 40, was also charged with the attempted murder and GBH of 37-year-old Keith Caskey. He denied the charges.

A detective from the Historical Enquiries Team said he believed he could connect Haddock to the charges.

Haddock, a senior figure in the UVF, is currently serving a 10-year sentence in Maghaberry prison for attacking a club doorman.

Earlier this year, Haddock was charged with the murder of rival loyalist, UDA leader Tommy English, in 2000.

The charges are in connection with Operation Ballast, which was launched after former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's investigation into allegations of collusion between RUC officers and the Mount Vernon unit of the UVF in north Belfast.

Parliamentary privilege

The investigation was triggered on the back of a complaint by Raymond McCord snr, the father of a UVF victim Raymond McCord jnr, who had claimed no-one had been prosecuted for his son's killing in order to protect Haddock.



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