- May 27, 2010
First Colin Duffy was freed, now Brian Shivers. Either the prosecutors are totally inept or the government was trying to frame both.
Brian Shivers, 47, who was acquitted of the Massereene shootings after a retrial at Belfast crown court. Photograph: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
The only man to be convicted of the Real IRA killing of two soldiers just hours before they were to be deployed to Afghanistan has been found not guilty in a retrial.
Brian Shivers had been jailed for murdering the army engineers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar in what a judge described as a "ferocious and ruthless" gun attack outside Massereene barracks in Antrim Town four years ago.
But on Friday at Belfast crown court, Shivers was cleared of the murders.
Mr Justice Deeney said the prosection case against the 47-year-old Co Derry man rested on circumstantial evidence, namely DNA found on two matches and a phone in the Real IRA getaway car. The judge said he could not be sure that these items were not contaminated innocently by the defendant.