Leading loyalist Winston “Winkie” Irvine could find out in eight weeks if he faces criminal charges for allegedly having guns and ammunition in the trunk of his car, a court has heard.
The 47-year-old is currently facing charges in connection with transporting weapons seized in Belfast earlier this year.
However, a judge was told on Friday that results are awaited from forensic tests and telephone analysis conducted as part of the investigation.
“There are still pending DNA and fingerprint reports,” a Crown attorney said.
“It is advised that most of these should be with the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) within the next few weeks.”
Irvine, of Ballysillan Road in the city, is on bail in connection with the June 8 find in the city.
He is accused of possessing a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances, possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing an uncertified handgun and having uncertified ammunition.
A second man, Robin Workman, of Shore Road in Larne, Co. Antrim, is facing the same charges.
Police allege Workman, a 51-year-old carpenter, was transporting the guns in his van to a meeting with his co-defendant in the Glencairn area.
After an alleged interaction between the two men, Irvine’s car was stopped on Disraeli Street a short time later.
According to prosecutors, officers discovered two suspected handguns, an airgun, magazines and more than 200 rounds of ammunition in a leather Calvin Klein holdall in the trunk of the vehicle.
Irvine denied knowing anything about the contents of the bag.
Despite initial claims that he could be linked to a mixed DNA profile on a holdall handle, further testing ruled him out as a possible contributor.
At Belfast Magistrates Court on Friday, the Crown was granted an eight-week break after setting out details of ongoing investigative work into the cases of both defendants.
District Judge Amanda Brady announced another hearing on Nov. 18 and suggested a decision on the couple’s prosecution would be made by then.
“There may be a decision (at this stage),” she said.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/courts/loyalist-winkie-irvine-waiting-on-dna-reports-as-he-faces-charges-connected-to-weapons-haul-42012510.html Loyalist Winkie Irvine waiting on DNA reports as he faces charges connected to weapons haul