13 March 2006

Lawyer fury at loyalist reporting


Ihab Shoukri is charged with UDA/UFF membership

A lawyer for senior north Belfast loyalist Ihab Shoukri has said he is considering reporting coverage of his client to the attorney general.

Mr Shoukri, 32, from Alliance Road, was remanded on continuing bail charged with membership of the UDA/UFF.

His barrister claimed there had been adverse publicity about Mr Shoukri over the weekend in a number of papers.

He told Belfast Crown Court it amounted to "outrageous contempt of court", and breached his right to a fair trial.

Arthur Harvey QC said that if the police had contributed to these articles, it "simply beggars belief".

He said that he would study the law to see if there should be an application to report the chief constable, senior police officers and the unnamed editor of a Sunday newspaper to the attorney general.

A date of 29 March was set to hear legal arguments about Mr Shoukri's trial.

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