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Independence march court case adjourned following funding difficulties

The Independence march in Aberdeen in August 2019.

A Scottish independence campaigner facing court over a march in Aberdeen has had his case adjourned following funding difficulties.

Gary Kelly is facing two charges under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act in relation to an independence march held in Aberdeen on August 17 2019.

The 46-year-old denies the charges, which allege he failed to arrange a temporary traffic regulation order and have in place public liability insurance.

Kelly, of Drummore Road, Glasgow, was not personally present when the case against him called at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, but defence agent Peter Keene appeared on his behalf.

The solicitor said they had “run into difficulties with funding”.

He went on: “Mr Kelly was supported by an organisation called All Under One Banner, my lord may have heard of them if he takes an interest in independence politics.

The march had to change route at the last minute

“They have hitherto been footing the bill for this. But now some question has arisen as to whether that is to continue or not.”

Sheriff Philip Mann adjourned the case and fixed a further pre-trial hearing for March, with a trial diet arranged for April.

The All Under One Banner (AUOB) event, allegedly arranged by Kelly, saw thousands of supporters marching through the centre of Aberdeen.

However, ahead of the rally, the local authority warned it would be seeking around £6,000 to cover the cost of traffic management as several streets had to be closed off.

AUOB previously set up the crowdfunding page to help Kelly mount a legal defence against the charges, which successfully raised more than £6,000.

March organisers were forced to change the route at the last minute, with permission from council chiefs only being granted days beforehand.

They initially planned to march from Castlegate to Duthie Park, but were forced to rethink this because of safety considerations.

The group went back to the drawing board and scaled back the plans to plot a path from Albyn Place to Castlegate instead.

Following the march, organisers were hit with a £6,000 bill.

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