Real IRA chief’s brother denied bail over arms smuggling plot

Author: By Ed Carty, Press Association

Michael Campbell was arrested in an undercover operation in the Baltic state
after handing over 10,000 euro (£8,600) to buy a sniper rifle, detonators
and timers.

He was remanded in custody for a further three months because of the
seriousness of the charges and amid fears he would flee the country.

The trial begins in Vilnius on 7 October.

Lithuanian prosecutors alleged Campbell attempted to negotiate a deal for
guns, ammunition and bomb-making materials for the dissident republican
group.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Irmantas Mikelionis, deputy chief prosecutor of Vilnius, confirmed Campbell
would be held in jail for at least another three months as he awaited trial.

The defendant is the brother of Liam Campbell, who was successfully sued by
the relatives of the Omagh victims for the 1998 bomb attack which killed 29
people.

The pair are from the Upper Faughart area near Dundalk, Co Louth, in the Irish
Republic, close to the border with Northern Ireland.

Michael Campbell, 36, is charged with supporting a terrorist group by
attempting to smuggle firearms, ammunition, and explosive devices from
Lithuania to Ireland.

He was arrested in January 2008 following the operation involving the British,
Irish and Lithuanian intelligence agencies.

It is alleged he paid undercover Lithuanian agents 10,000 euro for the weapons
including a sniper rifle, detonators, timers and about 10kg (22lb) of high
explosives, in a garage in the industrial zone of Vilnius.

It is also claimed he illegally carried and fired from a rifle, an AK-74 and
pistols and examined a sniper rifle, mechanic timers and high explosive
trotyl.

Prosecutors will outline the case against Campbell on October 7 and he will
then be called to give evidence.

British and Lithuanian secret agents will give evidence behind closed doors
later in the month.

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