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COURT HEARS THAT UDA WILL NEVER DISBAND

#1
COURT HEARS THAT UDA WILL NEVER DISBAND 03/31/08 12:41 EST

The loyalist paramilitary Ulster Defense Association will
never disband - a Belfast court has heard.

The Crown Court heard the so-called guarantee was contained
in a three-page speech which was to have been given at an
alleged UDA show of strength in a north Belfast bar.

The speech, allegedly in the handwriting of 34-year-old Ihab
Shoukri, declared while the UDA "must now take our fight
into the political arena - it`s not the end of the UDA -
which is here to stay."

The speech concluded with the boast: "We will never go away,
you know."

The speech was found in the pocket of one of five men
arrested along side Shoukri, of Westland Drive, Belfast.

Shoukri faces charges ranging from UDA membership to
supporting the loyalist terror group.

Just prior to the start of the trial trouble flared. Riot
police were called to the Langanside courthouse and stood
guard as the men were kept separated by prison and security
staff in the dock for the Diplock, no-jury case.

Trial judge Mr Justice Gillen heard that the six men were
arrested along with a number of other suspects when police
stormed the Alexander Bar on Belfast`s York Road on March 2,
2006.
 

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