Belfast City Hall fire protest man denies charges
An Algerian man who sparked fears he was about to set himself on fire is to contest charges of assault and having a knife, a court has heard.
Faycal Daoud confirmed his intention to plead not guilty over allegations connected to his detention outside Belfast City Hall.
The 34-year-old, with an address at Cavehill Road in the city, was held following the incident on May 1.
According to reports at the time a man lit a fire on the pavement at Donegall Square North and doused himself in liquid. He was pushed to the ground and restrained as members of the public intervened.
Daoud appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday facing charges of common assault and possessing an offensive weapon, namely a black-handled knife, with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.
A third charge of making a threat to kill a man is to be withdrawn, prosecutors confirmed. Daoud's barrister Michael Boyd told the court his client will be denying both remaining allegations.
He was released on continuing bail until later this month when a date for his contest hearing will be fixed.