The reports of the refusal by the Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom Burgess, of Hugh Orde’s application to revoke Ihab Shoukri’s bail, while awaiting trial for UDA membership, following his arrest during the police raid on the Alexandra Bar – although he wasn’t charged with any offence resulting from that raid – don’t indicate that any particular notice was taken of the reported UDA statement, read in a different court. Instead the Judge criticised the delay in bringing Shoukri to trial, he’s been on bail for 2 years and nine months.. while Peter Hain, the NIO, and, of course, Tony Blair’s chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, continued their strategy of attempting to encourage loyalist leaders to move along perhaps?From the BBC report on Judge Burgess’s decision –
Judge Burgess said the accused had not broken conditions which bar him from certain parts of Belfast or his curfew.
The judge was critical of the Crown over the delay in Mr Shoukri’s trial for UDA membership.
He said three times a date had been set for the trial, only for the prosecution to cancel it each time.
The accused has now been on bail for two years and nine months and the judge said that on Monday he would hear arguments for and against fixing a date for the trial.