Glasgow murderer's Maze transfer sparks anger

Until this week, 25-year-old Jason Campbell was simply known for a particularly nasty murder of a Catholic (UVF) football fan. Now his imminent move to a Ulster Volunteer Force wing of the Maze has caused outrage in Scotland and Ulster among those who claim that it gives his crime false political "credibility".

Two years ago Campbell slit the throat of 16-year-old Catholic and Celtic fan Mark Scotas he walked home past the Protestant Bridgeton area of Glasgow. The killer, whose uncle was a former UVF commander, was jailed for life. Despite apparent reluctance by the Scottish Office, Campbell's transfer to the relative luxury of a "political" wing of the Maze has been pushed by the Northern Ireland office as one of a number of so-called confidence- building measures in the current peace talks. Yesterday became clearer why. David Ervine, of the Progressive Unionist Party, which has close links with the UVF, said the group had been keen to establish that the Government appreciated their ceasefire as much as that of the IRA's. "[The UVF] put their list forward ... and demanded the Government act on it," he said. He condemned the murder but said the transfer would reassure paramilitaries.

The move has been widely condemned by Scottish churchmen and MPs. Labour MP George Galloway described Campbell as an evil cut-throat who had left his victim to "bleed to death ... because he was a Celtic supporter". The Scottish Office said it understood the public's "great concern" and insisted Campbell's life sentence would remain a matter for them.

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