Writer `told of Ulster plot'

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A FORMER journalist passed on information to the RUC that led to a loyalist being charged with the murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, Belfast High Court was told yesterday.

Neil Mulholland, a former reporter with the Sunday Life in Belfast and now a Northern Ireland Office civil servant, passed on details of an interview he had had in 1990 with William Stobie, 48, a former Ulster Defence Regiment member, of Belfast. Mr Stobie denies being part of the loyalist Ulster Freedom Fighters team who murdered Mr Finucane in February 1989.

He claims he was a Special Branch informer who passed on information to his security force handlers about UFF plans to attack a high-profile figure but had no idea who it was.

The court was told that months after he had interviewed Mr Stobie, Mr Mulholland answered an appeal by the RUC for information on the Finucane killing. Mr Stobie's bail application was refused.