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Michael Campbell gestures before the court session in Vilnius today. Mindaugas Kulbis/AP/Press Association Images

Irishman found guilty of attempted arms smuggling for Real IRA

Dundalk man Michael Campbell will appeal the verdict handed down in a Lithuanian court this morning.

A COURT IN Lithuania has found a Dundalk man guilty of attempting to buy weapons for the Real IRA and has jailed him for 12 years.

Michael Campbell from Dundalk in Co Louth was arrested in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius in January 2008 and later charged with handing €10,000 to an undercover Lithuanian agent posing as a weapons supplier.

The 38-year-old was found guilty by a judge at a court in the capital of Vilnius today and has been jailed for 12 years, according to Sky News correspondent Martin Brunt, although he has already served three-and-a-half of those in a Lithuanian jail.

His arrest was part of an international sting operation co-ordinated by MI5 and Lithuanian intelligence aimed at incapacitating the Real IRA. He had denied the charges, claiming he was framed by British intelligence services.

From inside the courtroom, Channel 4 news correspondent Carl Dinnen tweeted that Campbell smiled as the sentence was handed down.

Campbell will appeal the verdict.

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