A forensic examination of weapons and ammunition allegedly found in the boot of leading loyalist Winston Irvine has not yet been completed, a court heard today.
rosecutors said it could take at least another month to get a final report on any DNA profiles linked to the haul.
Irvine remains in custody on charges related to a gun seizure in Belfast last month.
A 47-year-old man from Ballysillan Road has been charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a pistol without a certificate and possession of ammunition without a certificate.
A second man, Robin Workman, 51, of Shore Road in Larne, Co Antrim, is also currently in custody on the same charges.
Police say 51-year-old carpenter Workman transported the weapon in his van to meet his co-defendants in the Glencairn area on June 8.
Following an alleged interaction between the two men, Irwin’s car was stopped a short time later on Disraeli Street.
Officers found the suspect’s two handguns, an air pistol, magazines and more than 200 rounds of ammunition in a Calvin Klein leather bag in the trunk of the car, prosecutors said.
The mixed DNA profiles are believed to have been located on the handle of the bag.
Irwin, described by his lawyer at a preliminary hearing as “a well-known peace builder”, denied knowing anything about the contents of the bag.
But police disputed suggestions he had held discussions with Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton about decommissioning the weapon the day before the seizure.
Irwin did not appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court for today’s information on the case.
During the brief hearing, the Crown attorney said: “Forensic tests have been requested, (but) there is no timetable yet for the return of the forensic reports.
“Hopefully in four weeks we will be able to better inform the court when they will be returned.”
Defense lawyer Darragh Makin replied: “The preliminary forensic findings have already been released so hopefully we can move forward with the next case.”
District Judge George Conner granted a four-week adjournment in the trial against Irwin and Workman.
He added: “I hope for progress in all matters.”