Shoukri suddenly pleads guilty on 18 of 19 charges

Whilst the convoluted story of the charges against Ihab Shoukri winds its way towards the courts [eventually.. – Ed] The equally convoluted story of the other Shoukri brother, Andre, took a surprising turn today. As the BBC reports, “The case involving Shoukri and three others, had been listed only for “mention” at Belfast Crown Court, but his defence lawyer asked that he be re-arraigned on 18 of the 19 charges he faced.” And when re-arraigned he pleaded guilty to the 18 charges. Of course, when the offences occured he would have still been in the hierarchy of a certain organisation.There could be yet another twist to come, though. From the BBC report

A prosecution barrister said that the remaining charge was to “remain on the books” and would not proceed.

No details of the charge were given, but he added that the reasons behind the move would be given at a later date.

Shoukri’s counsel said his client was now ready for sentence as the defence were not seeking pre-sentence reports in his case.

However, the judge adjourned sentencing until after the trial of Shoukri’s former co-accused next month.

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  • stevie

    Hopefully this scumbag gets a long time in jail,i live in the area hes from(worst feckin luck)and im sure i speak for all the decent people of the area,we dont want his type nor his cronnies running about the place.

    i hope he rots in hell and ahab will join him soon!!!

    F.A.P.

  • UFB

    Tale it he’ll not be walking like an Egyptian then.

  • UFB

    “Take”

  • stevie

    So the shankill uda/uff wreck a shop,jeep and houses that belong to ahabs girlfriend tonight,then ebby irvines car gets wrecked in the shankill est.

    Wonder how long it will be before the guns some out(again)

    [Play the ball applies, even on this topic – edited moderator]

  • spacehopper

    “Houses that belong to Ihab’s girlfriend”

    Where’s the ARA when you need them?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Sounds like Andre needs a nice, relaxing foreign holiday to unwind and get away from all these worries.

    Cue entrance of accomodating member of the judiciary…

  • Pete Baker

    Chris

    Any accomodation will have occurred long before the case appears in front of any judge.

  • ladysnowblood

    well said “spacehopper” bring in the assets recovery agency.Her shop isn’t a bookies by any chance is it ?

  • Pete Baker

    Just to add..

    Such accomodations sometimes never even make it to a court..

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I don’t think it was as “suddenly” or “surprising” as you think Pete. He was actually expected to plead guilty in May. In fact, one almost wonders what kept him so long – until you look back at the events of the summer.

    Shoukri expected to admit extortion
    21/04/2007
    News
    By Barry McCaffrey

    Leading loyalist Andre Shoukri is expected to plead guilty to extortion and money laundering next month in a desperate attempt to avoid embarrassing details of his chronic gambling habit being revealed in court.

    Legal sources last night confirmed that the former UDA ‘brigadier’, pictured, had agreed to admit the charges in exchange for a nine-year prison sentence.

    In March last year The Irish News revealed how detectives investigating Shoukri’s illegal activities had uncovered evidence that he gambled more than £860,000 in one bookie’s shop in two years.

    However, even if Shoukri receives a nine-year term, as expected, he will be back on the streets in 2009 as he has already served the equivalent of five years while on remand in Maghaberry Prison.

    Shoukri and co-accused John ‘Bonzer’ Borland were arrested in November 2005 after an undercover police operation caught them attempting to extort thousands of pounds from the manageress of a north Belfast bar.

    Both men are accused of extorting £900 a week from the manageress of Bonaparte’s Bar over a two-year period.

    Court hearings heard how Shoukri used the bar to “entertain’’ friends and how he would “go behind the bar and help himself to drinks, money from the till or anything else he required”.

    He demanded that the manageress, known as witness ‘A’, provide him with employment payrolls so that he could falsely obtain a mortgage for a house.

    In March 2005 Shoukri and Borland lured witness ‘A’s husband to a meeting in north Belfast during which a gun was put to his head and he was ordered to hand over control of the bar.

    The couple were forced to hand over the bar’s cheque books and keys and £4,000 in cash.

    In fear for their lives the couple contacted the PSNI which set up an undercover operation to catch the pair making threats on secret recordings.

    When Shoukri and Borland were finally arrested in November 2005 the couple were placed in protective custody in England.

    They had to be moved last summer when it emerged that their safety had been compromised.

    If the 29-year-old pleads guilty, as expected, it will mean that the extortion and intimidation used to feed his chronic gambling addiction and lavish lifestyle will never be made public.

    No-one from the Public Prosecution Service or Shoukri’s defence team was available for comment last night.

  • We must be “thanking” for this “gift”.

  • Wee slabber

    Any truth in the rumour he is behind all these dodgey “pyramid schemes”!

  • snakebrain

    “Leading loyalist Andre Shoukri is expected to plead guilty to extortion and money laundering next month in a desperate attempt to avoid embarrassing details of his chronic gambling habit being revealed in court.”

    I think it’s quite touching really to throw in your career of intimidation and extortion because you’re a tender little soul and shy about your gambling habit. Someone buy this guy a teddy bear.

  • ladysnowblood

    Is there any movement, from any authority, for these guys to be stripped of their assets, including those assets hidden by wives ,girlfriends family members etc.
    just how many properties, cars and buisiness’s do these benefit cheats have.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    snakebrain: “I think it’s quite touching really to throw in your career of intimidation and extortion because you’re a tender little soul and shy about your gambling habit. Someone buy this guy a teddy bear. ”

    Think it through… if his mates in either UDA find out how much he’s pissed away at the tables, he’s a dead man. Hell, his guilty plea might as much be about staying alive as anything else.

    One hopes the state has the foresight to demand cooperation and a full debriefing as to what the UDA is doing in the event of a deal, if only to make sure the state’s moles are telling the truth.

    Like I said, the split in the UDA is more likely over money than ideology or anything else. Shoukri was like as not skimming the take to support his gambling habits.