Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson has ordered the re-arrest of a Co Armagh republican just hours after the Belfast high court freed him.
Former IRA prisoner Martin Corey has been held in Maghaberry top security prison since April 2010 although he has yet to face specific charges related to terrorism. Corey spent 19 years in the Maze after being given a life sentence in 1973.
Corey’s current incarceration has been the focus of a campaign by Sinn Féin and others to have him freed. They allege the Lurgan republican who opposes the power sharing settlement at Stormont is the victim of de facto internment without trial.
His legal team appeared to have successfully challenged his imprisonment in Belfast high court on Monday morning after a judge granted the 61-year-old bail. Corey was found guilty of the double murder of two police officers in 1973.
The judge found that the parole commissioners had breached Corey’s human rights in refusing to release him.
His defence case focussed on the alleged secrecy surrounding the basis upon which Corey was sent back to jail. His lawyers argued that he was given insufficient understanding of the undisclosed reasons for the move, which was based on secret intelligence from the security forces.
While Corey waited in Maghaberry jail to be freed the secretary of state moved to block the release and at around 5.30pm the veteran republican was re-arrested and remains in the prison.
Republican Sinn Féin said the British state was “determined to keep Martin interned at all costs.”