“in the interests of justice”

More strange goings-on in the long-running saga that is the Ihab Shoukri case – and the “serious nature” of the charges brought. Mr Justice Gillen today recused himself in the case because, as the BBC reports, “case papers given to him contained certain details ‘which may be adverse’ to some of the accused”.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Mr Justice Gillen said he was stepping down “in the interests of justice”. He ordered the retrial to begin on Monday. He said he had not read any of the material in question, but decided “the interests of justice require me to recuse myself”, and therefore he could not hear any further evidence in the case. Mr Justice Gillen added that justice should not only be done in a case, but also be seen to be done.

Presumably those case papers were prepared by the DPP.. Yesterday several reports picked up on the speech noted by Mick in March 2006 and which, it is alleged, Ihab Shoukri had personally written. Particularly the line on the UDA – “We will never go away, you know.” But the other intriguing line from what was portrayed – by certain interested parties – as the ‘bad’ UDA declared that they “must now take our fight into the political arena”. Adds UTV report.A change in the weather.. or just an historic snapshot..

From the previously noted statement.

So we must now take our fight into the political arena. However, this does not spell the end for the UDA. We want to reassure you all that the Ulster Defence Association is here to stay. I would also like to take this opportunity to let our prisoners and their families know that we will continue to fight for them. And while Hugh Orde continually calls us criminals and puts only North Belfast Brigade Staff in jail on trumped up charges, we remain as strong as ever.

And a reminder of the meeting which a PSNI raid disrupted..