Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Republican planning tax case appeal

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy leaves the Special Criminal Court in Dublin

A prominent republican facing tax evasion charges plans to appeal over a legal ruling 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 before the Special Criminal Court instead of a jury.

The republican has now appeared before the three-judge Special Criminal Court where his solicitor, Paul Tiernan, revealed that he was lodging an appeal against the High Court ruling to the Supreme Court.

"I got instructions from Mr Murphy to appeal that decision," said Mr Tiernan. The case will be mentioned in the Special Criminal Court on December 21.

Murphy, of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, is being prosecuted on nine charges of failing to furnish tax returns for 1996-1997 to 2004. The case was brought in 2007 after an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

The 64-year-old alleged former IRA chief took legal action against the state in the High Court because he was sent for trial to the special three-judge, non-jury court.

The court usually deals with terrorism-related offences but the 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, stating that Murphy was entitled to appeal.

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