Rattigan begins appeal against murder conviction20/06/2012 - 12:17:25
Lawyers for convicted murderer Brian Rattigan are arguing on appeal that a new law on witness statements was unfairly applied retrospectively at his trial.
The 30 year old with an address at Cooley Rd in Drimnagh was found guilty by a jury of fatally stabbing Declan Gavin outside Abrakebabra on August 25, 2001.
Eight years after Mr Gavin was stabbed at Abrakebabra on the Crumlin Road, Mr Rattigan was convicted of his murder by a majority jury verdict.
Today his lawyers said that they have numerous grounds of appeal but will rely particularly on two issues, relating to the judge's charge and a change to the law on witness statements.
They say the introduction of Section 16 of the Criminal Justice Act in 2006 was a major new addition to the prosecution's artillery as it allowed unsworn witness statements to go before the trial in circumstances where a witness refuses to give evidence or claims they cannot remember what happened.
It is argued the defence cannot mount a proper cross examination and this creates a profound imbalance.
Rattigan's lawyers say that Section 16 should not have applied in his case as the witness statements were made five years before the law came into force.
more stories like this:
- once per day, no spam.