notorious for criminal activity of all sorts..

Despite Gonzo’s reasonable point – that, unless the government re-specifies the UDA, the charges of membership of that organisation are likely to be dropped – one report today briefly notes that in Belfast High Court Lord Justice Nicholson refused bail for Ihab Shoukri on the basis that “he was concerned that if Shoukri was granted bail he would be a danger to the community and there would be public disorder.” Ah, ‘in the public interest’, then? Of course, it’s also in someone else’s interest that Ihab Shoukri remains out of the way for now. The other reported comment is worth looking at too, “Lord Justice Nicholson said the UDA was notorious for criminal activity of all sorts..” Indeed they are, but those aren’t the charges brought in this case. Not only that but, given that notoriety, perhaps someone should have a word with Peter Hain, the NIO and President McAleese.. I think Jonathan Powell probably knows..

  • I wonder how a judge who said he was satisfied Shoukri was a leading member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) would have dealt with the recently-dropped membership case against the same man.

    BTW Pete, after speaking to someone who knows more about these things than me, I’m not convinced my reasonable point about the Terrorism Act loophole would work in the current case. I’ll try and find out the facts to explain better, but it would explain why the PSNI is using physical rather than witness-based evidence to build its case on – the former is apparently subject to the loophole, the latter is not.

    One gets the feeling that there might not just be a power struggle in the UDA…

  • theres me thinking he will walk cause hes a tout.

  • Pete Baker


    One also gets the feeling that someone is trying to paper over the cracks in their attempt to influence that power struggle…

    Either the charges of membership are not enforceable in law because the organisation is not specified… or those charges are enforceable – it doesn’t, or it shouldn’t, depend on the nature of the evidence of that membership – and frankly a handwriting expert is not the most conclusive of testimonies in the absence of fingerprints.

    But if those charges are enforceable, then there are several other known UDA leaders who should be behind bars.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Ah Pete, if only life were so simple…