Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Republican Thomas 'Slab' Murphy in bid to have jury trial

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy
Thomas 'Slab' Murphy

A prominent republican facing tax evasion charges plans to appeal over a legal ruling in the Republic that his case should be dealt with in a non-jury court.

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy last week lost his challenge against the constitutionality of a law sending him for trial at the Republic’s Special Criminal Court instead of before a jury. Murphy appeared yesterday before the three-judge court in Dublin where his solicitor, Paul Tiernan, revealed he was lodging an appeal against the High Court ruling to the Supreme Court.

The case will be mentioned in the Special Criminal Court on December 21.

Alleged former IRA chief Murphy, of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, is being prosecuted on nine charges of failing to furnish tax returns.

The Special Criminal Court usually deals with terrorism-related offences, but the Republic’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) can decide if an ordinary court is not adequate to deal with a case.

Barrister Benedict O Floinn, for the DPP, said he was anxious over the delay in the matter.

However Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, rejected his application to set a hearing.

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