Published Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Journalist Martin O'Hagan was shot dead by loyalists on his way home in 2001. (© Pacemaker)
The 51-year-old reporter was killed by loyalists in Lurgan, Co Armagh in September 2001 as he returned from his local pub.
Gunmen pulled alongside him in a car and shot him dead.
A witness, who was also a suspect in the case, turned supergrass as part of the police investigation.
Neil Hyde was interviewed by police at length about the full extent of his knowledge of the murder and his own involvement in the commission of offences on this and other occasions.
He was later sentenced to a reduced jail term for a range of offences in connection with the murder, including conspiring to carry a firearm with intent to wound.
Hyde - a former LVF member - pleaded guilty to 48 charges at Belfast Crown Court in 2012.
At the time, the judge said he would have been sentenced to 18 years in jail instead of three if he had not agreed to identify those involved in the murder.
But the case against eight loyalists alleged to have carried out the killing was later dropped because Hyde's account to police could not be independently verified.
The PPS examined whether there were grounds for Hyde's sentence to be reviewed.
On Wednesday it confirmed that it was no longer in a position to review the jail term.
"Based on the initial evidence the specified prosecutor in this case had concluded that the assisting offender had knowingly breached his agreement under section 73 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and that it was in the interest of justice that the case should be referred back to the original sentencing court," a statement read.
"However, following further examination of the evidence previously made available by police, extensive police enquiries and PPS consultation with the relevant witness, it is considered that the evidence which is now available is not sufficient to establish a breach of the agreement by Neil Hyde to the requisite standard. Accordingly there is no longer a basis to refer the matter to the court."
The PPS said its director Barra McGrory QC intended to exercise his powers to refer the matter to the Ombudsman.
"The director now intends to exercise his power under section 55 of the Police Act 1998 to refer the matter to the Police Ombudsman for investigation," the statement added.
Mr O'Hagan was the first journalist killed in the history of the Troubles.
© UTV News