Hutch fails in bid to have taped conversations ruled inadmissible in Regency murder trial

ireland
Hutch Fails In Bid To Have Taped Conversations Ruled Inadmissible In Regency Murder Trial Hutch Fails In Bid To Have Taped Conversations Ruled Inadmissible In Regency Murder Trial
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Gráinne Ní Aodha

A court has said that a portion of taped conversations recorded by Irish police in Northern Ireland were obtained illegally but will be permitted in the trial of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

Mr Hutch is on trial over the murder of David Byrne, who was shot dead at the Regency Hotel in February 2016, in one of the first deadly attacks of the Hutch-Kinahan gangland feud.

The Special Criminal Court heard earlier in the week arguments on whether the 2016 recordings of Mr Hutch speaking with former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall as they drove to Northern Ireland should be admitted.

The prosecution had argued that the recordings should be permitted as the recording device was deployed, retrieved and downloaded in the Republic.

Reading out the decision, Ms Justice Tara Burns said that An Garda Siochana had “no authority” to investigate or gather evidence “in another jurisdiction” but would admit it as evidence in the current murder trial.

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“The court is satisfied that the relevant officers acted in good faith and that the illegality was unknown,” she said, adding that this was a new determination in law.

 

“The court has ruled that the evidence was unlawfully obtained and has nonetheless decided to admit it into evidence,” defence barrister Brendan Grehan responded.

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He submitted the prosecution had not argued the taped recordings should be submitted under a provision of law which allows for non-compliant evidence to be submitted in the interest of justice.

Ms Justice Burns said she had listened back to transcripts over the last two days and the prosecuting barrister, Sean Gillane, had mentioned the provision during his submissions.

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