28 July 2005 Edition

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Loyalists indulged by Orange courts

A leading Belfast loyalist has been released on bail for the seventh time in seven months.

William 'Spud' Murphy is a close friend of ousted East Belfast UDA leader Jim Gray. He was released to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on 26 July to face two counts of possession of cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine with intent to supply and one count of possession of cannabis.

This will be the eighth time Murphy will face the charges having walked free from court on his previous seven appearances. Murphy is one of many senior loyalists to have been granted bail in recent months despite facing serious charges.

UDA boss William 'Mo' Courtney, accused of murder, is out on bail as is Laurence 'Duffer' Kincaid, accused of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

In 2003 North Belfast Brigadier Andre Shourki was granted bail while facing charges of possessing a gun with intent to endanger life, while his brother Ihab was also granted bail while facing murder charges.


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