An Irishman jailed in Lithuania for smuggling arms for the Real IRA has launched an appeal against his sentence.

And a group of Irish politicians have pleaded for better conditions for Michael Campbell at Vilnius jail in the Lithuanian capital.

The Irish Independent reports that Campbell, now in his early 40s, was arrested in a January 2008 sting in Vilnius when he met a Lithuanian agent who posed as an arms dealer.

A brother of Liam Campbell, one of four Real IRA leaders found liable by a civil court for the Omagh bomb, which killed 29 people, he has claimed he was set up by British intelligence.

Louth man Campbell was convicted of attempted smuggling, aiding a terrorist organisation and illegal possession of arms and sentenced to 12 years in the Vilnius jail.

A group of deputies from the Irish parliament heard his appeal against the sentence on Friday and also visited Campbell in jail.

The group includes Fianna Fail's Eamon O Cuiv, Sinn Fein's Martin Ferris and Independents Clare Daly and Maureen O'Sullivan.

O Cuiv told the Irish Independent: “The conditions here are quite horrendous.

“There is no hot water. He is in a cell with 21 others.”

Michael Campbell