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Veronica Guerin: Freedom bid of man convicted of journalist's murder is 'abuse of process', lawyers tell Irish court

Published 20/11/2015

Journalist Veronica Guerin was killed in 1996
Journalist Veronica Guerin was killed in 1996
Journalist Veronica Guerin in hospital in 1995

Brian Meehan's bid to have his conviction for murdering journalist Veronica Guerin declared a miscarriage of justice is an abuse of process and is based on nothing new, according to lawyers for the Irish state.

Meehan (47), from Crumlin in Dublin, is serving a life sentence in Portlaoise prison having being convicted in July 1999 of the murder of Ms Guerin in June 1996 following a 31-day-trial before the non-jury Special Criminal Court. He was also jailed on drugs and firearms charges.

Meehan has applied to quash his 1999 murder conviction on the basis of alleged new or newly discovered facts.

The new evidence concerns matters which emerged in the course of the 2001 Special Criminal Court trial of John Gilligan at the close of which Mr Gilligan was ultimately acquitted of Ms Guerin's murder.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paul Anthony McDermott Bl, told the Court of Appeal this morning that Veronica Guerin was murdered 19 years ago, Meehan was convicted of her murder 16 years ago and his appeal was rejected over nine years ago.

Mr McDermott said Meehan's application was based on nothing new since the criminal trial and nothing new since his appeal.

He asked the court whether Irish criminal law ever had an end point or did it expand limitlessly.

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