Loughinisland material seized 'will not be examined' pending the outcome of a legal challenge over validity of the search warrant.

MATERIAL seized during a probe into the suspected theft of confidential documents from the Police Ombudsman's Office will not be examined pending the outcome of a legal challenge to the validity of the search warrant.

The undertaking was given at the High Court in Belfast on behalf of the PSNI and the senior investigator from Durham Constabulary.

It followed emergency proceedings brought by the company behind a documentary into the loyalist murders in Loughinisland.

Detectives from Durham Constabulary, supported by officers from the PSNI, searched three properties in Belfast - two residential and the third a business premises and arrested two journalists.

A number of documents and computer equipment seized during the raids were set to be examined by specialist officers over the coming days.

But lawyers representing the documentary maker Fine Point Films went to court, seeking to challenge the legality of the search warrant and to have the process halted.

They were set to argue that it did not cover all of the material seized.

But following discussions Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan was told police were prepared to give an undertaking not to study any of the material pending further order of the court.

Sir Declan suggested that an inventory should be compiled of any equipment and documents seized.

The case is expected to be reviewed again in a week's time.

Outside court solicitor Paul Pierce, of KRW Law, confirmed: "The material seized as part of this search will not be examined until such time as the court can make a fully-informed assessment of the evidence put before the judge when applying for this order."