Monday, May 23, 2022

Alison O’Riordan

Lawyers for Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch, who is charged with the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016, will ask the Special Criminal Court to dismiss the charge against him.

Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC for Mr Hutch on Monday asked for permission to make an application under Section 4E of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1967 which states that a court can dismiss the charges against an accused person where there is insufficient evidence.

Mr Hutch (58), who is in custody, was not present in court for Monday’s brief hearing.

Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding at the three-judge, non-jury court, agreed to hear a preliminary application on June 15th to determine if the Special Criminal Court has jurisdiction under the Act to hear the application.

Other co-accused are expected to seek similar applications.

Any evidence heard during the application cannot be published or broadcast.

At a previous hearing, Mr Grehan told the three-judge court that he was reserving his client’s position in relation to the lawfulness of his arrest, the charge brought against him and in respect of the jurisdiction of the court.

A trial date has been fixed for Mr Hutch of October 3rd, 2022, when the accused will go on trial alongside four other co-accused, who are charged in connection with the murder of David Byrne.

If the trial goes ahead, it is expected to last 12 weeks.

David Byrne (34), from Crumlin, was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.

Extradition from Spain

Mr Hutch was extradited from Spain after his final appeal against extradition to Ireland was rejected by a Spanish Appeals Court on September 14th. He was being held in a Madrid prison.

Mr Hutch is charged with the murder of David Byrne, contrary to Common Law, at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on February 5th, 2016.

Mr Hutch has been in custody since being arrested in a restaurant in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol in Spain on August 12th, 2021 by the Guardia Civil. A search for him began in April 2021 after Ireland issued a European Arrest Warrant in connection with the attack on the Regency Hotel.

Mr Hutch, of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, is the third man to be charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on February 5th, 2016.

In April 2021, former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall (43), with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 was charged at the non-jury court with the murder of Mr Byrne at the hotel.

He will go on trial alongside three other co-accused, who are charged in connection with the murder of David Byrne, at the Special Criminal Court on October 3rd, 2022.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals by Mr Hutch and Mr Dowdall aimed at preventing their trials before the non-jury Special Criminal Court from proceeding.

The shooting took place during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel. The venue was raided by a man dressed as a woman and another wearing a flat cap, who were armed with handguns, followed by three people dressed in tactical-style garda uniforms carrying assault rifles.

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