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Garda murder accused told lies but does not mean he is guilty: lawyer

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Charged: Aaron Brady

Charged: Aaron Brady

Charged: Aaron Brady

A lawyer for a Co Armagh man charged with murdering a policeman in the Republic has told his trial that the lies told by his client do not make him guilty.

Michael O'Higgins SC was giving his closing speech on behalf of Aaron Brady, from New Road, Crossmaglen, who denies the murder of Garda Detective Adrian Donohoe (41) and the robbery at Lordship credit union on January 25, 2013.

Mr O'Higgins said his client had lied on important matters to gardai in the days after the murder, but added that just because a person tells lies it does not mean they are guilty. He said lies were told because his client was involved in diesel laundering and was apprehensive about gardai knowing this.

Earlier, counsel addressed the jury on evidence given by Daniel Cahill via video-link from New York. Mr Cahill, who is originally from Dublin, previously told the court of three interactions he had with Mr Brady in which the accused admitted to shooting a garda. But he said the witness did not come forward after any of the alleged interactions, asking the jury "does this sound like someone with a burning desire to do justice?"

The trial has heard that Mr Cahill gave a statement to gardai having been detained at his apartment in the Bronx after it was searched by Homeland Security agents and the Yonkers Police Department on July 25, 2019.

Suspected cannabis plants and steroids were discovered but he was never charged. Mr O'Higgins said Mr Cahill is a person with a lot to gain.

Mr O'Higgins also described Special Agent Mary Ann Wade, who was involved in the operation at Mr Cahill's apartment, as an "extremely difficult" and "evasive" witness. She had told the court she could not answer questions on the immigration status of witnesses. Mr O'Higgins said it was "unprecedented" where a witness came to court and said "here's what's on the agenda, here's what's off the agenda".

He will conclude his speech this morning.

Belfast Telegraph