Willie Frazer has told the News Letter that he would have stood for election if he had been under less stringent bail conditions while facing flag protest-related charges.
Prosecutors told Belfast Magistrates’ Court today that there was insufficient evidence on allegations that he took part in an un-notified public procession and encouraged others to do the same by making a speech at City Hall – meaning all the charges linked to flag protests have now been dropped against him.
Outside the court Mr Frazer claimed that the case against him had been political.
“I’m relieved but very angry,” he added.
“For 15 months I was more or less under open house arrest.
“Thankfully I had a good legal team, but somebody had an agenda to take Willie Frazer and others off the streets.”
Later he told the News Letter his bail conditions had effectively barred him from any gatherings except funerals – including a recent parade 300 yards from his home – and if it was not for these he would have stood for election.
He said: “I was under pressure from numerous people to stand in the elections – but I couldn’t.
“Because they even refused to lift the conditions to allow me to canvass; well, canvass properly.
“They said I could go to a church hall and things like that. I wasn’t allowed to go to any gatherings; I wasn’t allowed to go to a band parade or anything like that.”
Asked what he would have stood as, he said: “I had the choice of two or three (parties), put it like that,” but added it probably would have been as a Protestant Coalition candidate.
Mr Frazer added he will lodge a complaint with the Police Ombudsman about the affair.