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Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Mandelson
People released on licence who revert to terrorism will be sent back to prison
 real 28k

Sunday, 10 September, 2000, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Adair 'to serve remainder of term'
Johnny Adair
Security forces believe Adair helped organise recent violence
The Northern Ireland secretary has said loyalist paramilitary leader Johnny Adair will have to serve the remainder of his term after being re-arrested last month.

Peter Mandelson said Adair, who was convicted of directing terrorism in 1995 and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, had breached the terms of his licence.

The convicted Ulster Freedom Fighters commander was re-imprisoned after being freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.


The legislation is absolutely clear. People who come out of jail early on that licence, who revert to terrorism, have that licence suspended and go back

Peter Mandelson
Speaking on the BBC's Breakfast With Frost, Mr Mandelson said Adair had been "given a chance to benefit under the early release programme".

"He has to serve his term," he said. "He like every other was let out on a licence, on condition, he wasn't given his freedom as such.

"The legislation is absolutely clear. People who come out of jail early on that licence, who revert to terrorism, have that licence suspended and go back."

He said Adair's case would be considered by the Sentence Review Commission in "due course".

The Secretary of State's comments follow a protest which included the convicted UFF commander's wife, Gina, outside Downing Street.

A group of twenty or so campaigners mounted the protest as Mrs Adair handed in two letters to Number 10 seeking her husband's release.

When Adair was re-arrested on 23 August, Mr Mandelson said the peace process could have been derailed if a feud between loyalist paramilitaries the Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF) and the rival Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in west Belfast had spread to Catholic areas.

Free since September last year under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, Adair's licence was revoked when Mr Mandelson said he had evidence of the leading loyalist's involvement in heightening tensions in the feud.

Three people were shot dead as the feud escalated on the Shankill Road in west Belfast and north Belfast.

Jackie Coulter, shot dead on 22 August while he sat in a jeep outside a bookmakers shop on the Crumin Road in Belfast with another man Bobby Mahood who was also killed, was a member of the UDA, a cover name used by the UFF.

The UDA/UFF was blamed for murdering Sam Rocket, shot in front of his baby daughter and girlfriend at a house off the Crumlin Road on two nights later. He was linked with the UVF.

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Loyalist Adair 'linked to drugs and guns'
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