Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Half of Willie Frazer's charges dropped but judge refuses to link trio's cases

Victims' campaigner Willie Frazer has been told that half of the charges against him have been dropped.

Frazer (53) from Markethill, Co Armagh, had been facing a total of six charges connected to protests over the reduction in the number of days the Union flag is flown from Belfast City Hall.

But yesterday at Belfast Magistrates Court this was reduced to two, relating to a protest on January 19, 2013, while a third charge of possession of a stun gun remained.

Lawyers for flag protesters Jamie Bryson and Jim Dowson were also present at the hearing and requested that the three cases be linked.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall declined that request but said they may be linked further down the line.

Meanwhile three meetings which allegedly took place between the PSNI and the UVF in the run up to the January 19 protest were also mentioned.

Last month Willie Frazer's legal team said that their client had "heard on the grapevine" about these meetings.

Barrister Richard Smyth had sought full disclosure of any documentation from such meetings.

But a prosecution lawyer had told the court that information from police was that there were no notes, emails or memories following those meetings.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall allowed two weeks to allow the prosecution to make further inquiries. Yesterday a prosecution lawyer said he intended to apply for an adjournment as there were three issues outstanding.

A lawyer for Bryson said they were seeking full disclosure about meetings on January 17, 18 and 19.

The next hearing in this case is expected to take place on March 26.

Further reading

Willie Frazer: Cancer, death threats and my GAA secret

Willie Frazer's lawyer claims PSNI struck deal with loyalists over Union flag protest

Willie Frazer's fury over 'GAA shirt' in EastEnders dismissed as absurd and inappropriate

Pictured: Willie Frazer wears Abu Hamza outfit for Union Flag protest court case 

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