“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..

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  • DC

    The judge may well have had to introduce a few bits’n’pieces of evidence that he may have previously thought of as being inadmissible. Likely ruled him out of sitting because of it.

    Strange one indeed, anyone other ideas on this?

  • joeCanuck

    My bank account keeps growing while I am otherwise engaged.
    At other times it sadly gets depleted but, lucky guy that I am, I find it’s not too difficult to grow it again. “Sniff”.

  • BonarLaw

    usual cock-up- either unedited interviews or criminal records were in the case papers. Not so strange (or unusual).

  • ladysnowblood

    When i first read the news reports for this item i thought it was something to do with some of the accused possibly being revealed , during the case, as police informers

  • Pete Baker

    “Not so strange (or unusual).”

    Perhaps, BonarLaw.

    But this has been an ongoing, and long-running, saga.

    With other interested parties involved..

  • DC

    “When i first read the news reports for this item i thought it was something to do with some of the accused possibly being revealed”

    A bud has burst on the upper bough..?

  • Gregory

    Conspicuous people have conspicuous rights.

    It is illegal to write dose kinda speeches, I’d still like royalties for ‘they haven’t gone away you know’, be worth a few bob.

    ‘The speech, allegedly in the handwriting of 34-year-old Mr Shoukri, declared while the UDA “must now take our fight into the political arena – it’s not the end of the UDA which is here to stay”.’

    The stay-out-of-gaol trick is possibly that rich Fenian oral tradition eschewing paperwork. Mr Shoukri could I suppose claim it was an off the cuff scribble.

    Not that I’m saying I agree that it is his scribble or anything.

  • McGrath

    Most likely, the case file contains dirt on the good UDA and maybe their associates or evidence of illegality on the part of the British Authorities. Presentation of such in open court would bring this into the public arena. Judge Gillan obviously isn’t going to play along by either concealing this information or by dismissing the case.