Northern Ireland

Willie Frazer to get out of jail to attend hospital

Willie Frazer has condition placed on his release
Image caption Conditions have been placed on Willie Frazer's release

Loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer has been banned from using any social media during a temporary release from prison.

The 53-year-old was also prohibited from entering Belfast while out of custody for a hospital appointment.

Mr Frazer, of Tandragee Road, Markethill, County Armagh, is charged with encouraging offences by making a speech to union flag protestors.

The allegation relates to his address to a crowd at Donegall Square, Belfast, on 19 January.

Mr Frazer 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.

Kidney treatment

He is one of the most high-profile figures to be charged in connection with ongoing demonstrations over the decision to limit flying of the union flag at Belfast City Hall.

Last Friday, Mr Frazer was refused bail amid police fears of further offending and claims that he could continue to encourage others through public speaking and talking to the press.

But on Thursday, his legal team successfully applied for temporary compassionate release so he can receive kidney treatment.

Mr Frazer is to be discharged from prison on Friday for a number of hours to attend hospital.

A judge at Belfast Magistrates Court granted bail on condition that he remains in the company of a named person.

Mr Frazer was told he must not enter Belfast under any circumstances or make use of any social media.

He was also banned from making contact with the press while out of custody.

Following his medical appointment he is to return to prison by 16:00 GMT.

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