Sinn Fein legal review dismissed

IMC includes former CIA chief Richard Kerr

A bid by Sinn Fein for a judicial review of a decision to stop more than £100,000 of party funding has been dismissed.

The party vowed to fight the decision which was made by Secretary of State Paul Murphy last April.

The sanction followed the publication of a report highlighting the levels of paramilitary activity by both republican and loyalist groups.

Sinn Fein's application was dismissed in the High Court in Belfast.

The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) report recommended action against Sinn Fein and the Progressive Unionist Party in response to continuing IRA and loyalist violence.

In a further report last week, the IMC said Sinn Fein should bear its share of the blame for a series of robberies and that it should face financial sanctions.

The IMC said it backed the police assertion the IRA was behind the £26m raid in Belfast in December - a claim the IRA denies.

Sinn Fein said it rejected the report because the IMC was "not independent".

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