Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 3 September 2015

Flag protester Willie Frazer will dress as Abu Hamza for court date

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 18/09/2013

Willie Frazer is charged with six offences
Willie Frazer is charged with six offences
Willie Frazer
Prominent loyalist flag protester Willie Frazer (centre) at the Stormont Assembly in Belfast
Loyalists flag protestors outside Belfast City Hall taking part in a protest at Belfast City Hall. Spokesman Jamie Bryson, left and Willie Frazer. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer has said he intends to dress up as radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza for his next court appearance.

Frazer said he would wear a fake beard and attach hooks to his hands similar to the hate preacher in protest over charges linked to the flags dispute in Belfast.

He is charged with six offences including one of encouraging or assisting offences by making a speech to flag protesters outside Belfast City Hall.

It is believed to be the first time that the charge, part of the 2007 Serious Crime Act, has been used in Northern Ireland.

The law was originally introduced to deal with radical fundamentalists.

Frazer said the proceedings were "a farce", and claimed he was considering turning up to court next week dressed in Muslim regalia.

"It's so ridiculous that I might as well go as a Muslim," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"That law was brought in to deal with Muslim extremists in the UK, and the first person to be charged with it is myself – a man who has never had a parking ticket in his life.

"The whole thing is a mockery so I may as well go along with it. I am seriously considering it.

"The only way to get through to these people is to send a message that we're not going to sit back and take it from them."

Frazer said he would "go the whole hog", including a fake hook such as that worn by Hamza, the radical one-handed cleric convicted in Britain of soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred.

"I'll dress up in a long gown and a beard, and I'll try and get one of them 'oul hooks and put it on the end of my arm because that's who it was brought in for," he added.

"I'm not sure what the judge will make of it – he probably wouldn't be too happy to see me with a hook on my arm – but I will make the point."

Mr Frazer said there was a serious message behind the protest.

"There is a very serious message – that's what you get for watching your family murdered over 40 years and trying to defend law and order," he added.

Other charges against Frazer include taking part in an unnotified public procession, obstructing traffic in a public place and possession of a prohibited weapon – namely an electric stun gun.

He is due back in court in Belfast next Friday.

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