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Northern Ireland news

Co Down man (32) to stand trial on UDA charges

David Coleman (32) denies belonging to the UDA

A Co Down man is to stand trial later this year on terror offences linked to the UDA.

David Coleman (32) denies belonging to the proscribed loyalist paramilitary organisation on dates between November 6 2016 and October 18 2017.

From The Green in Holywood, Coleman is also set to face a charge of possessing a document - namely an oath of membership of the Ulster Defence Association - which contained information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism

He appeared at Belfast Crown Court today, where both charges were put to him.

When asked to enter a plea, Coleman replied "not guilty" to both offences, which fall under the Terrorism Act 2000.

A Crown prosecutor told Judge Paul Ramsey that the non-jury trial is likely to last for around one week.

A trial date of September 24 was set, and the case will be reviewed again prior to the hearing.

Coleman was remanded back into custody.

Although no details emerged during today's brief hearing, it was alleged by a detective sergeant in court previously that Coleman was a 'high-ranking member' of the UDA.

This has been denied by Coleman, who when charged with membership told police "Absolutely not, I don't belong to nothing."

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