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Seized machine gun could fire 850 rounds a minute; Man bailed over paramilitary probe find.

Byline: ALAN ERWIN

A SUB-machine gun seized during a police operation into paramilitary activity is capable of firing 850 rounds a minute, the High Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors said the weapon and ammunition discovered at Damian Black's home last week was of the type used in dissident attacks on officers.

Details emerged as the 47-year-old electrician, from Lagmore Glen in West Belfast, was granted bail.

Black is charged with possessing a Skorpion sub-machine gun and five rounds of ammo. He faces a further count of having a firearm designed or adapted so two or more missiles can be discharged without repeat pressure on the trigger.

The court heard officers found the weapon, bullets and magazine inside a blue bin in his garage on April 28. A Crown lawyer said: "It was a proactive operation into paramilitary activity."

Guns similar to the weapon made for the Czechoslovakian army have been used by the PIRA, the court heard.

The lawyer said: "Most recently such weapons have been used in attacks on the PSNI by dissident republican groupings."

Forensic tests have not established any link between Black and the gun.

Opposing bail, the Crown lawyer added: "It's my submission that the weapon, if it was to be used, was to be used for violent criminal activity."

A defence barrister said: "At no stage during the interview process was it put to this applicant that he was a terrorist, affiliated to or a supporter of any organisation."

Granting bail, Mr Justice Colton ordered the accused to abide by a curfew.

irish@mgn.co.uk

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 6, 2017
Words:270
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