Belfast Telegraph

Flag protester Jamie Bryson could face two separate trials

Union flag protest leader Jamie Bryson could face two separate trials over his alleged involvement in illegal demonstration activities, it emerged today.

Prosecutors are considering whether to take one case to the Crown Court while other charges are dealt with in the Magistrates' Court.

The development came as one allegation of taking part in an un-notified public procession was withdrawn.

But 23-year-old Bryson, from Rosepark, Donaghadee, Co Down, still faces seven other charges over his alleged role in protests connected to the decision to restrict the flying of the union flag at Belfast City Hall.

They include another four counts of participating in an un-notified public procession and obstructing traffic on the Newtownards Road in January.

Those alleged offences are expected to be dealt with by Belfast Magistrates' Court.

However, two further charges against him of encouraging or assisting offences by addressing public gatherings may be sent to the Crown Court as more serious, indictable offences.

Investigations into both of the alleged encourage offences charges are continuing.

A judge at Belfast Magistrates' Court gave the prosecution two weeks to obtain an e-crime report following examination of the accused's computer.

Defence lawyer Darren Duncan stressed that evidence, including photographs and CCTV footage, remains incomplete.

Bryson was released on continuing bail to return to court next month.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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