Lawyers defending four men accused of abducting and assaulting Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney are challenging CCTV evidence gathered by gardaí.
The Special Criminal Court trial heard on Wednesday from dozens of witnesses from Cavan, Monaghan, Westmeath and Dublin who said they made CCTV footage available to gardaí from their business premises.
Each one agreed with lawyers for the defence that if gardaí asked for footage they would allow them to take what they wanted. A number of them also said that they were not familiar with the Data Protection Act and did not question gardaí about the reasons why the footage was being sought.
In some cases they said they were given copies of section 41b of the Data Protection Act which allows gardaí to seize CCTV footage as long as it is “necessary and proportionate” for the investigation of crime.
A 40-year-old man known as YZ, Alan O’Brien (40), of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, Darren Redmond (27), from Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 and Luke O’Reilly (67), with an address at Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan have all pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment and intentionally causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan on September 17th, 2019.
Data protection training
Northern Ireland police officers have also told the trial that they receive regular training on data protection regulations. Detective Constable Michael Askin told Michael O'Higgins SC, representing the unnamed accused, that members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) receive “service instructions” from time to time.
He agreed that a service instruction was issued in 2018 following the introduction of the Data Protection Act and circulated to all members. Among the requirements for PSNI officers is that all members carry out data protection training and update their training every three years thereafter.
Mr Lunney has told the court that he was bundled into the boot of a car near his home and driven to a container where he was threatened and told to resign as a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings.
His abductors cut him with a Stanley knife, stripped him to his boxer shorts, doused him in bleach, broke his leg with two blows of a wooden bat, beat him on the ground, cut his face and scored the letters QIH into his chest. They left him bloodied, beaten and shivering on a country road at Drumcoghill in Co Cavan where he was discovered by a man driving a tractor.
The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, and Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh.