UDA/UFF membership charges.. again..

What were referred to as “terrorist charges” against Ihab Shoukri in last night’s reports, as noted in this post, have been revealed in court to be… membership of the the UDA and UFF and professing to belonging to those organisations... which would be the same charges withdrawn previously. Interestingly the charges are said to based solely on a handwriting comparison between the speech recovered in the police raid that lead to a charge of breaching his bail conditions [rejected by the court] and “forms Ihab Shoukri had filled in for a passport, a driving licence and a housing executive application.”From the PA report:

The police officer said comparisons with forms Ihab Shoukri had filled in for a passport, a driving licence and a housing executive application, had led a handwriting expert to conclude that such were the similarties that Ihab Shoukri was the writer of the speech.

He confirmed that Shoukri`s fingerprints were not found on the paper.

Meanwhile, the other prominent UDA leader, Jackie McDonald, failed to appear at the launch of Finaghy Crossroads Group despite being expected to attend..

As the report says:

Jackie McDonald, local UDA chief, who has controversially met the President on a number of occasions, had been expected to attend today`s launch and have a further meeting with the President.

However at the last minute he didn`t turn up, but it was said to be down to family problems.

..although the controversy surrounding his presence at a previous visit by Irish President Mary McAleese, and the presence of several camera crews at this particular time is more likely to have influenced the decision not to attend.

Just a reminder, but there is, you know, another school of thought about how to deal with for-profit terrorists… an approach which wouldn’t rely on the high degree of hyprocrisy that seems to be expected otherwise.