FSJ News Updates,
Leading loyalist Winston ‘Winkie’ Irvine may find out within eight weeks whether he will be prosecuted for allegedly having guns and ammunition in the boot of his car, a court heard.
The 47-year-old is currently facing charges in connection with a haul of weapons seized in Belfast earlier this year.
But the judges said on Friday that they were awaiting the results of forensic tests and telephone analysis, which are part of the investigation.
“There are still reports of DNA and fingerprints,” the Crown attorney said.
“It is reported that most of them should be with the PPS (Prosecution Service) within the next few weeks.”
Irvine, of Ballysillan Road in the town, is on bail in connection with a find made in the town on June 8.
He is charged with possession of a weapon and ammunition under suspicious circumstances, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a handgun without a certificate and possession of ammunition without a certificate.
A second man, Robin Workman, of Shore Road in Larne, Co Antrim, faces the same charges.
Police say Workman, a 51-year-old carpenter, transported the weapons in his van to a meeting with his co-accused in the Glencairn area.
Following an alleged interaction between the two men, Irvine’s car was stopped in Disraeli Street shortly afterwards.
Officers discovered two suspect handguns, an air rifle, magazines and more than 200 rounds of ammunition inside a Calvin Klein leather bag in the trunk of the vehicle, according to the indictment.
Irvine denied knowing anything about the contents of the bag.
Despite initial claims that it may be linked to the mixed DNA profile on the purse handle, further testing ruled it out as a possible contributor.
At Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Friday, the Crown was granted an eight-week reprieve after it gave details of ongoing investigative work in the cases of both defendants.
District Judge Amanda Brady scheduled another hearing for Nov. 18 to reach a decision on whether to prosecute the pair by then.
“There may be a decision (at this stage),” she said.