Senior officer 'warned' flag protester Jamie Bryson over illegal parades
One of the PSNI's top officers has insisted that leading flag protester Jamie Bryson was told he would be taking part in an illegal parade - although Bryson claims he was unaware the demonstration was against the law.
Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr told a court he agreed to meet Bryson and loyalist representatives as part of efforts to ensure their weekly demonstrations did not break the law.
ACC Kerr is believed to be the highest ranking officer to give evidence in a magistrates' court case in Northern Ireland.
Bryson (24), of Rosepark in Donaghadee, Co Down, is contesting charges of taking part in four unnotified public processions during January and February 2013, and obstructing traffic on Belfast's Newtownards Road.
Mass protests were being staged at the time following a decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall.
Bryson insists, however, that he was unaware the protests could have been unlawful.
His supporters packed the public gallery at Belfast Magistrates' Court.
A judge heard that 24-year-old Bryson believes himself to be the victim of a political prosecution.