Belfast Telegraph

John Gilligan money laundering case adjourned for fortnight

Northern Ireland investigators have met with the Republic's Criminal Assets Bureau about Dublin man John Gilligan who is accused of money laundering, a court heard on Monday.

A National Crime Agency (NCA) investigator revealed the meeting took place last Thursday and that he now requires an International Letter of Request.

John Gilligan (66), of Greenfort Crescent, west Dublin, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been on remand in connection with one charge of 'attempting to remove criminal property from Northern Ireland'.

He was arrested while attempting to board a flight from Belfast to Spain in August.

At the time the NCA said officers recovered around 23,000 Euro at the scene.

At Coleraine Court via video link, Gilligan confirmed his name.

A prosecutor said the application was to adjourn the case for a further four weeks as the investigator had told her the file in the case would be with her Department at the end of the month.

District Judge Paul Copeland noted it had been "a lengthy case" and the prosecutor said the first appearance had been on August 24.

Defence barrister Plunkett Nugent said his "strict instructions" were to seek a two week adjournment.

Mr Nugent said the case involved "a very unusual set of circumstances" and the defendant had given a "full account of where the money came from".

The lawyer said it was his understanding that "99 per cent of that money has been accounted for" and that the National Crime Agency has now received written confirmation from the people who provided the cash.

Mr Nugent argued there was "no evidence" against his client.

He said that there had been previous bail applications with the latest being last week but he said that court had not examined the issue of the evidence against the defendant.

Mr Nugent said bail had been refused on the grounds of his client being seen as being a risk of offending and leaving the jurisdiction if freed.

The NCA investigator confirmed to the court he intended to have a file with prosecutors by the end of October.

The officer said he held a meeting last Thursday with the Criminal Assets Bureau to outline what he required from them and he was told he needed to get an International Letter of Request.

The investigator said when he submits his file two statements of evidence will still be due and one is regarding an interview with the defendant.

Judge Copeland said there was no reason why the case could not proceed "promptly" to the commital stage to potentially send the case to the Crown Court.

He granted the defence application for the case to be adjourned for two weeks for an update.

Mr Nugent said he wished to make an application for certification in the case "because I can see this possibly proceeding by way of a full examination of all the evidence at the commital stage"

He added that "the evidence or lack of evidence" could be looked at then.

The case was adjourned to October 29 and Gilligan was further remanded in custody.

The defendant said: "Thank you very much" and as he left the video link prison booth he could be seen holding papers.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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