Man acquitted in killing of British soldiers
May 3, 2013 -- Updated 1506 GMT (2306 HKT)
(File photo) Brian Shivers arrives at the Antrim Courthouse, Northern Ireland, on January 20, 2012.
- Brian Shivers had been convicted before but the judgment was quashed
- Judge finds DNA evidence in a getaway car is not convincing
- Two English soldiers were gunned down outside barracks in Northern Ireland in 2009
(CNN) -- A 47-year-old man from Northern Ireland was found not guilty Friday of murder in the 2009 killings of two British soldiers at an army base in Northern Ireland.
Brian Shivers had been accused of killing Patrick Azimkar, 21, and Mark Quinsey, 23, two English soldiers gunned down outside Massereene Barracks.
The off-duty and unarmed servicemen were ambushed with gunfire as they collected a pizza delivery at the front gate of the base, hours before they were due to leave for a tour of Afghanistan. They were the first members of the British security forces to be killed in Northern Ireland since the signing of the Good Friday peace agreement in 1998.
The Real IRA, a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Shivers had been convicted of the murders last year and ordered to serve at least 25 years in jail. The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal quashed that judgment this year after Shivers challenged the trial verdict. He was then ordered to face a retrial.
Prosecutors said Shivers' DNA was found on matchsticks and a mobile phone found in and around an abandoned getaway car.
The defense said the DNA did not prove he was involved in the shooting and could have been innocently associated with people who used the car.
Shivers' attorney has described him as an "unlikely terrorist" because he had cystic fibrosis and a doctor had told him he only had a few years to live.
The judge effectively sided with the defense, saying the evidence wasn't strong enough.
Another man, Colin Duffy, had been acquitted last year.
Shivers also was acquitted of attempting to kill four other soldiers and two pizza delivery men and torching a getaway car.
Part of complete coverage on
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1531 GMT (2331 HKT)
The sign language interpreter widely ridiculed for his performance at the Nelson Mandela memorial stands by his work.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Behind the scenes in Cambodian karaoke bars -- a common front for child prostitution.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 0446 GMT (1246 HKT)
A global risk firm surveys the most politically explosive countries.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
It's the battle of the tech titans. No, not Apple versus Samsung. Sony has gone head-to-head with Microsoft.
Keep up to date with stories from Europe's biggest tech conference.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)
On Tuesday, I was free. On Wednesday, I became a criminal. India's high court just made being gay illegal, writes Tushar Malik.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
A Japanese actor says playing villians in Chinese films has helped the China-Japan divide. CNN's Ivan Watson reports.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1612 GMT (0012 HKT)
New skyscraper-sized gas plant is the biggest thing on the waves.
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Pope Francis is Time's person of the year. His papacy has drawn adulation from people around the world for his man-of-the-people ways.
He was imprisoned for life but that did not quiet him. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president, and an icon and inspiration.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
Turning 50 is a major milestone in a person's life -- and a country's history.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see in news reports, taken by CNN teams all around the world.
Today's five most popular stories