Northern Ireland man David Coleman to stand trial on UDA membership charge
A 32-year-old Co Down man is to stand trial in Belfast later this year on terrorist offences linked to the UDA.
David Coleman has been charged with, and denies, belonging to the proscribed loyalist paramilitary organisation on dates between November 6, 2016 and October 18, 2017.
From The Green, in Holywood, Coleman is also set to face a charge of possessing a document - namely an oath of membership of the Ulster Defence Association - which contained information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism
He appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday, where both charges were put to him. When asked to enter a plea, Coleman replied "not guilty" to both offences, which fall under the Terrorism Act 2000.
A Crown prosecutor told Judge Paul Ramsey that the non-jury trial is likely to last for around one week.
A trial date of September 24 was set, and the case will be reviewed again prior to the commencement of the hearing. Coleman was remanded back into custody.
Although no details emerged during today's brief hearing, it was alleged by a detective sergeant during a bail hearing that Coleman was a "high-ranking member" of the UDA. This has been denied by Coleman, who when charged with membership, told police "Absolutely not, I don't belong to nothing".
Belfast Telegraph Digital