Baltic trial of Real IRA chief's brother postponed

Baltic trial of Real IRA chief's brother postponed

A Lithuanian judge postponed a hearing today in the trial of a suspected IRA dissident accused of trying to purchase weapons and explosives in the Baltic country.

Michael Campbell, the brother of a senior Real IRA figure in Ireland, was arrested in January 2008 in an international sting operation when he allegedly handed €10,000 to an undercover Lithuanian agent posing as a weapons supplier.

The hearing was cancelled because Campbell’s lawyer, Ingrida Botyriene, was ill.

Campbell is the brother of Liam Campbell, who helped found the Real IRA and, according to Irish police, is the faction’s overall commander today.

“We have enough information to affirm that Michael Campbell was attempting to get a big amount of weapons and explosives,” said prosecutor Girmantas Mikelionis.

The trial has dragged on due to sheer volume of testimony and international bureaucracy involving undercover agents using different languages.

Campbell could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of seeking weapons for terrorist purposes.

He served a four-month prison sentence in Holland in 2004 after being convicted of smuggling millions of counterfeit cigarettes into Ireland, a major criminal racket run by the Real IRA.


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