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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 13:18 GMT
Loyalist loses firearm appeal
Andre Shoukri
Andre Shoukri will serve the remainder of his two-year sentence
A leading loyalist has lost his appeal against a two-year jail sentence for having a gun without a certificate.

Andre Shoukri, 25, from Sunningale Gardens, Belfast, is the alleged brigadier of the paramilitary Ulster Defence Association in the north of the city.

Delivering their ruling on Friday, the Appeal Court judges said the two year sentence was fully merited as the gun had been obtained illicitly together with a significant amount of ammunition.

They added that the onus was on the court to hand down a sentence which would act as a deterrent to others.

Shoukri was not in the court to hear the ruling.

He was caught with a pistol and 30 bullets in a sock when police stopped a car in the Rathcoole Estate in September of last year.

He was originally given a six-year sentence after being convicted of possessing a weapon in suspicious circumstances but that was overturned on appeal and the two-year term imposed.

Shoukri was acquitted of possessing the weapon with intent.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's Shane Glynn reports:
"Shoukri is due for release from prison next summer"



SEE ALSO:
Top loyalist jailed over gun
01 Jul 03  |  Northern Ireland
Leading loyalist denies charges
16 May 03  |  Northern Ireland
Loyalist gun case reserved
25 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland



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