Loyalist Winston Rea released on bail after murder charges

Loyalist Winston Rea released on bail after murder charges
Winston Winkie Rea. Picture: PA

Update:The wheelchair-bound veteran loyalist Winston "Winkie" Rea has been released on bail after appearing in court charged with two Troubles murders.

Earlier:

A veteran loyalist is due in court charged with murdering two men during the Troubles.

Winston "Winkie" Rea is accused of murdering John Benedict Devine in the Fallswater Street area of West Belfast on July 23, 1989, and John Joseph Gerard O'Hara in the Dunluce Avenue area of South Belfast on April 17, 1991.

The 65-year-old is due appear in court in Belfast.

A fresh investigation into the two deaths was prompted by information contained on tapes the PSNI obtained from Boston College in the US.

In 2001 the college in Massachusetts commenced a five-year oral history project aimed at documenting perspectives on the Troubles from those involved in the conflict.

Former paramilitaries, both republican and loyalist, were interviewed about their roles in the 40 years of violence which blighted the North on the understanding that their accounts would not be made public until after their deaths.

But subsequent court rulings in the US rendered that undertaking useless after the PSNI was awarded custody of the tapes for investigative purposes.


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