McKevitt may be freed in two years under deal

A DEAL that could lead to the alleged Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt serving just two more years in prison has been put to his legal team, according to reports.

Under the terms of the deal, Mr McKevitt would plead guilty to IRA membership while the more serious charge of directing terrorism would be dropped.

Others jailed for membership of the IRA have been given sentences of around four years but McKevitt, from Blackrock in Dundalk, has been in prison for two years on remand.

The 51-year-old is due to go on trial before the Special Criminal Court in June and is the first person in the State to be charged with directing terrorism.

He is accused of doing so between August 1998 and March 2001.

McKevitt’s legal team has been involved in a series of court hearings over disclosure, particularly in relation to David Rupert, the main prosecution witness who infiltrated the Real IRA for the FBI and British secret service.

Last month, the Supreme Court refused an application for leave to take a legal challenge to the refusal of further disclosure of documents relating to Mr Rupert.

After a four-day hearing last year, the Special Criminal Court refused an application by Mr McKevitt for further disclosure of documents, particularly material in the possession of the British security services and FBI relating to the credibility of Mr Rupert.

Mr McKevitt has received substantial documents relating to Mr Rupert but his lawyers were unhappy both with the manner in which that material was disclosed and the extent of it.

They were keen to get any material linking him refused an application by Mr McKevitt for further disclosure of documents, particularly material in the possession of the British security services and FBI relating to the credibility of Mr Rupert.

Mr McKevitt has received substantial documents relating to Mr Rupert but his lawyers were unhappy both with the manner in which that material was disclosed and the extent of it.

They were keen to get any material linking him.

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