Shoukri did not breach bail conditions – Judge Tom Burgess

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.

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  • Loftholdingswood

    Well done that judge.

    Two years and nine months to establish some facts regarding Mr Shoukri. Sure any year now the crown will reach a decision.

  • Narcissus

    And who says, the Security Services don`t run Loyalist paramilitaries!

    Justice, you`re havin a laugh.

  • qubol

    This whole episode with Shoukri stinks. Why did the police bother to bring this if they really had so little evidence? You imagine that it wouldn’t be very difficult to catch Shoukri breaking the terms of his bail. The only thing keeping him on bail without going to trial does is illustrate to everyone how ineffective the justice system is at dealing with loyalism. If they aren’t going to go to trial then drop the charges otherwise prosecute him and send him down. The judiciary also have to recognise that the leniency of their bail conditions are being exploited – when will they get tough on loyalists?

  • elfinto

    I think Shoukri was originally up on a charge of murdering Alan McCullough. This charge was later dropped but he remained charged with UDA / UFF membership. It is ridiculous that the Crown is still unable to proceed after 2 years and 9 months. A very fishy business altogether.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “When will they get tough on loyalists?” you ask qubol? When will they get tough on republicans? Ihab Shoukri is charged with UDA/UFF membership – why don’t the PSNI on the Antrim Road take the short drive to Ardoyne and arrest local Provisional IRA commander for directing terrorism and PIRA membership – parity of esteem and all that eh…

  • Jill Robinson

    Elfinto remarked: “A very fishy business altogether.”

    Not really. In Unionist circles this is known as “concession after concession to Republicans.”

  • Concerned Unionist

    Concerned Loyalist on a UDA thread, defending the indenfensible, shocker!!

  • Sohnlein

    Presumably Shoukri is what one might call one of the “persuaded.” (Into this category one could perhaps also fit Martin McGuinness).

    He is more than likely being persuaded that were he to assist in putting the UDA/UFF to bed, then the charges against him, will no longer be of such great significance. (nothing more than was seen in the Republic regarding the Real IRA ceasefire post Omagh – “call a ceasefire and we won’t crack down on you.”).

    The extension of his bail is accordingly a ploitical decision; but this would be by no means the first time in N.Ireland that people have had their bail extended, to ensure the “right Judge”and the “right result.”

    The problem with the PSNI is that they are clearly often cut out of such deals – as is clearly the case here.

    There is clearly friction on the ground between the PSNI and MI5…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    C.U.
    “Defending the indefensible”? Do you know something I don’t? Do the
    P romotes S olely N ationalist I deology have irrefutable evidence that the people in The Alexandra Bar were UDA members and were rehearsing a show-of-strength for a forthcoming function…or is it all circumstantial as I was led to believe?

  • qubol

    Why don’t the PSNI on the Antrim Road take the short drive to Ardoyne and arrest local Provisional IRA commander for directing terrorism and PIRA membership
    Concerned Loyalist

    Well thats an easy one CL becuase the IRA have layed down their arms and are years into a real ceasefire, the local IRA commander in Ardoyne is probably directing very little. Thats in complete contrast to your loyalist commanders who command everything from prostitution, drug pushing, extortion and murder. Who commanded the murder attempt on the Crumlin Rd the other night? it certainly wasn’t republicans.
    How can you try and defend this rubbish CL – Latino Night, Defending Ulster, End to criminality – its all rubbish. All the UDA is interested in is vicious gangsterism – they’re ruining your neighbourhood and all you can do is come on to Slugger and tell us about some IRA commander in Ardoyne. I expect you to comeback with something about the IRA and crime but thats irrelevant. Its time to face facts the UDA are a bunch of crooks and Unionism, grass roots Loyalists and the Justice system need to realise that.

  • Concerned Unionist

    “as I was led to believe”, Concerned Loyalist thats says it all!!!!

  • Loftholdingswood

    That last comment was certainly NOT made by me. Software up the spout?

  • pat

    Just because Etab has been released and not charged with any offence after being caught Red Handed does not mean he is a tout as some people are suggesting. He may well be on the payroll of MI5 but surely for any of the Sons of Ulster to even think that there Egyptian Master is a tout and set up all the others in the bar to ensure his own ongoing freedom could be seen as treason?

    Etab is a True Son of Ulster, well at lest while he is still in control of the loyalist prisoners relief funds!

  • soapy

    Etab… lol

  • soapy

    what the hell is up with slugger software? I wonder who I’ll be this time when I click submit?

    *soapy*

  • Crataegus

    Is there any wonder people have little confidence in the rule of law. This family seem to have the luck of the devil yet the proverbial dogs in the street are barking their name.

    I really don’t understand why the PSNI fails put a case together against many in the UDA. What is the problem incompetence, collusion, political intervention? No matter what way you look at it it’s not good.

    The UDA are not in Professor Moriarty’s league so what exactly is the problem?

    Call for Clouseau, wonder what religion he is?

    Crataegus

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think the UDA membership charge might be a great, big bluff.

    Here’s why (see last entry by me):

    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/all_shouk_up/

    * Gonzo *

  • andy

    drug dealers like shoukri and his uda friends have nothing to offer society.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Loftholdingswood8,
    I am a Loyalist and agree with you that “drug dealers…have nothing to offer society”. Their only loyalty is crime.

    However, it is very dangerous to label Ihab Shoukri a drug-dealer – it’s libellous and I’m not versed in the ins and outs of the libel law but I would think Slugger would have to answer a case if Mr Shoukri were to pursue civil proceedings against the site, so think before you start spouting off and bandying names about with your unfounded allegations…

    Concerned Loyalist

  • CL – Libel laws have a basic principle, you must demean a person in the eyes of right thinking people.
    As Shoukri is a convicted extortionist he wouldn’t have a chance of winning damages from a publication labelling him a drug-dealer. Hope this helps.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    paul panther,
    So you would have no problem with me saying that South Armagh’s “Slab” Murphy is the Provo Chief-Of-Staff and a millionaire due to ill-gotten gains he made from illegal fuel-smuggling…

    You would also not have a problem with me saying that the £26.5 million Northern Bank raid was organised by top SF/IRA members, and Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness had prior knowledge that it was going to take place…

    Surely neither of these paragraphs are libellous as I am not demeaning these people “in the eyes of right thinking people”. I’m sure that after directing some of the worst atrocities in Western Europe the aforementioned men would already be viewed as the scum of the earth by “right thinking people”?

    Have I understood you correctly?

    Concerned Loyalist