In Scotland, four men have gone to trial in the case of attempted murder against two former leaders of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a Loyalist terror group. The four men – Paul Sands, 31; Martin Hughes, 36; Anton Duffy, 39; and John Gorman, 58 – all deny the charges.
Evidence was officially given in trial on Monday 12 May, but a ban on reporting initially prevented any reporting on the proceedings. Evidence was presented to a jury of five men and 10 women, and the trial is ongoing.
The alleged murder plot was against Sam McCrory and Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair and is said to have taken place in October of 2013. At that time, Mr. Adair said that he had just returned from holiday when he was warned by the police that his life was in danger. He was told that dissident republicans were conspiring against him, and that he should step up security.
The court also heard from Mr McCrory. In 1993, he was convicted of conspiracy to murder as well as possession of two assault rifles and sentenced to 16 years in prison. However, he was later released during the Good Friday agreement. Mr McCrory told the court that the police also contacted him in October 2013 to warn him that his life was in danger.
Other witnesses have included Edward McVeigh, a former cellmate of Anton Duffy who testified that the accused hated Mr Adair and Mr McCrory. According to his testimony, the alleged murder was planned to take place at either the golf course, where Mr Adair typically walks his dog early in the morning, or at the gym where he trained.
All of the accused deny all charges, and the trial before judge, Lady Scott, is ongoing.