Stone 'may have to repay money'

Loyalist killer Michael Stone was released from jail in 2000

A convicted loyalist killer may have to reimburse compensation paid by the government to one of his victims.

The High Court has given permission to the widow to challenge the Compensation Agency's decision not to pursue Michael Stone for the money.

The ruling had been sought by Ann Marie McErlean, whose husband was one of three mourners killed by Stone at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast in 1988.

At an earlier hearing, it was claimed Stone had substantial assets.

These came from the sale of his paintings and his autobiography, it was claimed.

The Compensation Agency has said it cannot identify any assets which would justify an application for reimbursement.

However, the judge said that he could not accept that non disclosure of assets was a stopping point.

He gave the go-ahead on Friday for a judicial review of the Compensation Agency's decision not to pursue Stone.

Throwing grenades

Stone murdered three men at the Belfast funerals of three IRA members killed by the SAS in Gibraltar in 1988.

About 60 people were injured as Stone ran through Milltown Cemetery, firing shots and throwing hand grenades.

Security forces caught him at the edge of the cemetery, and he was later sentenced to several life terms.

He was released early in June 2000, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

His autobiography was published in 2003.

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