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Detained republican Tony Taylor to sue SoS

Derry republican Tony Taylor
Connla Young

DERRY republican Tony Taylor is to sue the secretary of state for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.

Mr Taylor has spent more than a year in jail without charge after his early release licence was revoked by then Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

Mr Taylor's solicitor Aiden Carlin said that a writ has been served on James Brokenshire.

The legal action was launched after Mr Taylor's legal team argued that his detention in March 2016 was unlawful.

He said the Northern Ireland Office later “rescinded the original order and issued a new one dated 31 March 2016”.

The solicitor said compensation is now being sought for the first three weeks Mr Taylor spent in detention.

Last month parole commissioners refused to approve his release from Maghaberry prison despite support from politicians including Sinn Féin national chairman Declan Kearney who said the decision “is a denial of justice and due process.”

A former republican prisoner, Taylor was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 1994 for IRA activity and for three years in 2011 for possession of a rifle.

Those who took part in the parole hearing earlier this year are banned from speaking about it.

Mr Carlin said: “It is argued that his recall is internment in all but name.

“It is without justification and sets a very dangerous precedent for republican ex-prisoners.”

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) said: “We do not comment on individual cases.”

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