‘ The defendent raised his voice again referring to an officer a southerner and a Provo – PSNI witness.
LOYALIST campaigner Willie Frazer was freed again on Tuesday despite being held to have breached bail terms and labelling an arresting officer “a Provo“. A judge released the 53-year-old with a warning that he cannot continue to flout conditions imposed on him.
Frazer, from Markethill, Co Armagh, was arrested on Monday night following a protest against plans to build a peace centre at the site of the former Maze prison. He is currently on bail charged with encouraging offences by an address the Union Flag demonstrarors in January. Frazer is also accused of three counts of taking part in an unnotified public procession, obstructing traffic in a public place, and possession of a prohibited weapon, namely a Taser stun-gun. In March he was granted bail on a series of tight conditions. They included an order not to make any public speeches or social media comments connected to the flag dispute, or being within two miles of public protests, demonstrations or processions. Police detailed three incidents in the last week which culminated in him being arrested on the motorway near Craigavon and taken into custody.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard he was first seen in a car in Tandragee on June 13 about half a mile from where a small group of Union Flag protesters had gathered. After being spoken to by an officer he produced a recording device and asked him to repeat what he had said, according to police. A day later he was spotted driving in Rathfriland where a loyalist band parade was being held. Frazer was eventually detained following a protest at the site of the former Maze Prison on Monday. Five people were there to protest against plans to build a peace centre at the location. Union Flags and a placard stating “terrorist shrine” were observed at the scene, the court heard. Frazer was arrested more than 10 miles away, allegedly refusing at first to get out of his car. A struggle began after handcuffs were used, with two officers needed to remove him from the vehicle. A constable told the court : “The defendant raised his voice and began referring to an officer as a southerner and a Provo.” Maze protest leaflets and a camcorder were seized from the car.
As Frazer’s wife Ann joined other supporters in the public gallery, defence counsel Richard Smyth said none of the alleged bail breaches were accepted. He said his client had chanced upon the first protest and band parade while out in his car. Frazer had then arranged to meet a journalist at the Maze half an hour before a planned demonstration by others to ensure he did not flout release conditions, the barrister contended. “When he was finishing off the interveiw two or three cars pulled up, he says six people got out, there was brief pleasantries exchanged and then got in his car and left,” Mr Smyth added. District Judge George Conner observed that the campaigner seemed to be attracted to protests either “telepathically or otherwise”. Although Frazer was held to be in breach of his release conditions, Mr Conner ruled he could be granted bail again. The judge warned : “He must realise he cannot continue to flout the posititon, which is what I think is going on.”
With thanks to : Irish News.
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- Frazer Arrested After Maze Protest (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
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- Willie Frazer Arrested Over Protest at Maze Prison Site (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Willie Frazer ‘breached bail three times in past week’ (newsletter.co.uk)
- End of Union As Loyalist Party Loses Key Figures (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)