Willie Frazer dresses as Abu Hamza ahead of court appearance

Friday 27 September 2013 13.16
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Willie Frazer took off the costume before appearing in the courtroom
Willie Frazer took off the costume before appearing in the courtroom
Mr Frazer's bail conditions have been changed to allow him attend a parade in Belfast this weekend
Mr Frazer's bail conditions have been changed to allow him attend a parade in Belfast this weekend

Loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer turned up at a Belfast court today, dressed as radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza in a protest at charges he faces.

He arrived at the Laganside complex wearing a flowing black robe, skullcap and fake beard.

An eye-patch and hooked hand completed his efforts to resemble the cleric, who was deported from Britain to face terrorist-related charges in the US.

Mr Frazer donned the costume to hit out at being charged under legislation, he says, was brought in to deal with Islamic hate preachers.

He removed the outfit before appearing before the judge at Belfast Magistrates' Court for an update on his case.

The 53-year-old, from Markethill, Co Armagh, is charged with encouraging offences by an address to Union flag demonstrators in January.

He is also accused of three counts of taking part in an un-notified public procession, obstructing traffic in a public place, and possession of a prohibited weapon, namely a Taser stun-gun.

Prosecutors today confirmed that the case against him is to proceed summarily, rather than by indictment to the Crown Court.

Mr Frazer's lawyers were given one week to state whether he will contest the charges.

Releasing him on continuing bail, District Judge Fiona Bagnall said she wanted to be told how long the case will take if not guilty pleas are entered.

It was also confirmed that Mr Frazer's bail conditions are to be varied to enable him to attend a parade in Belfast this weekend.