Belfast Telegraph

Drug accused cannot be identified as 'under death threat' - court hears

Two men charged with drugs offences cannot be identified due to fears they are under death threat, a judge ordered today.

Temporary reporting restrictions were imposed as the case came before Belfast Magistrates' Court for the first time.

But the judge ordered that media organisations must be notified and given the chance to challenge the ban at a further hearing later this week.

The defendants are jointly accused of possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

The alleged offences stretch back to an incident in the city in 2011.

In court today defence lawyer Adrian Harvey argued that neither man should be named by the press because of the suspected death threats.

He based his fears on media reports and from speaking to police.

On that basis the judge agreed to impose interim reporting restrictions prohibiting the publication of any details leading to the identification of either defendant.

The prohibition remains in place until the case is heard again on Thursday at 1.45pm.

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