Published Tuesday, 10 July 2012
The Secretary of State Owen Paterson is to appeal the decision. (© UTV)
Martin Corey was due to be released on unconditional bail after a judge held that Parole Commissioners breached his human rights in keeping him behind bars.
But his release has been put on hold after it emerged that the ruling is to be challenged.
A judge stayed the bail order until the Court of Appeal is convened on Wednesday to make a fresh determination.
Corey, 61, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, received a life sentence in 1973 for the murders of two RUC men. He was freed on licence in 1992, having served 19 years in jail.
In April 2010, the then Secretary of State Shaun Woodward ordered his recall to prison on the basis of "closed material".
Last August, the Parole Commissioners decided that the revocation of his licence should remain in force.
They considered open evidence of alleged involvement with dissident republicans, and confidential material which neither Corey nor his representatives had sight of.
His judicial review challenge to the Commissioners' decision centred on the alleged secrecy surrounding their reasons.
On Monday, Mr Justice Treacy held that there had been a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The judge found that the open evidence did not advance the Secretary of State's case against Corey, meaning that the decision was solely based on closed material.
He also said the Commissioners misdirected themselves in law and failed to provide a sufficient safeguard against the lack of full disclosure.
Mr Justice Treacy ruled that the Commissioners should reconsider the matter and directed that Corey should be released on unconditional bail in the meantime.
However, lawyers for the Secretary of State later returned to the High Court seeking a stay while an appeal is prepared.
Corey's barrister opposed the request, arguing there was no jurisdiction to grant the application.
Karen Quinlivan QC also claimed it had been inappropriate to put her client's release on hold following an initial hearing at which she was not present.
But another judge, Mr Justice McCloskey decided on Tuesday: "The stay which the court ordered provisionally yesterday will be extended until further order of the Court of Appeal."
Sinn Féin MLA Sean Lynch has described the move as "outrageous" and has accused the Secretary of State of interfering with Mr Corey's release.
The Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA said: "It is totally unacceptable that this fly-by-night British Minister, who is not elected by anyone in the North, can imprison someone without placing any evidence or proof before the court.
"The revoking of licenses on the basis of secretive evidence not available to the accused or his solicitor is damaging confidence in the justice system."
He said Mr Paterson should now do the right thing and end this pointless legal appeal and allow Martin Corey to return home to his family.