“It is still the director’s view that this court deal with the matter”

In October 2008, the “culmination of intensive investigations by the Criminal Assets Bureau and the UK’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency” saw more than €625,000 in cash and cheques confiscated in Ireland as the proceeds of crime, while £445,000 (573,000 euro) and nine properties in the north-west of England were recovered by UK authorities. There were also reported tax settlements with the Criminal Assets Bureau “for a figure understood to be over €1m” by Patrick and Frank Murphy, brothers of Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy – who has been named previously as both the UK’s richest smuggler and a former Provisional IRA Chief of Staff. Although Thomas Murphy’s legal challenge to being tried on tax evasion charges in the non-jury Special Criminal Court was rejected in January 2008, the UTV-hosted PA report notes that Murphy “is taking civil action against the State in the High Court”.

The three-judge non-jury court usually deals with terrorism-related offences, but the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has the discretion to decide if an ordinary court is inadequate to deal with a case. DPP solicitor Michael O’Donovan told the judge the State had filed notice of particulars almost a year ago and were still waiting for a reply from Murphy’s defence team. “It is still the director’s view that this court deal with the matter,” he added. Mr Justice Butler, presiding, said if the defence is in default it is up to the prosecution to bring a motion to “strike it out or whatever” or to push proceedings on. “It’s quite ancient,” he added.

But does Gerry Adams still think that “Tom Murphy is not a criminal. He’s a good republican.”That quote from Gerry Adams in full (March 2006)

“Tom Murphy is not a criminal. He’s a good republican. I read his statement after the Manchester raids. I believe what he says. He’s also, and very importantly, a key supporter of the Sinn Féin peace strategy and has been for a very long time.”

But then Adams also said when asked, by RTÉs Tommie Gorman, whether he believes Murphy’s denial of membership of the IRA Army Council,

“If he denies being a member of the IRA, then I have to accept that.”

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  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    If they had the goods on Tom Murphy then they would try him in a court of law with jurors present to hear the evidence and then vote on his innocence or guilt. Since he is going to be tried in a court without a jury the gov’t doesn’t have the goods on him to stand up to the scrutiny of juror review.

  • Kathy C

    Perhaps not, the main purpose of the Judge only courts is to protect jurors from intimidation. Since Mr Murphy is neither a criminal or a member of the IRA we have to wonder why he would be being tried in such a way.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi pippakin,
    the ‘criminal asset bureau’ are the ones who are bringing charges against tom murphy…so I take it is all about murphy’s assets and whether they were obtained criminally. To have a trial without a jury on such a case—is to have an easier time to convict. I personally don’t think it has anything to do with the protection of jurors cause if they really want…the court can find a way to hide their identy ….or take other means to protect them. Besides…has there been a threat made to make the authorities believe they can not offer protection to a juror? I haven’t heard of any…. I see it as a way to control the proceedings and get tom murphy. If the gov’t was really wanting to give credence to the criminal asset bureau…then have it all out in the open and let a jury decide. The flip side…they don’t have enough evidence to get a jury conviction so they put it allllll in the hands of a judge. good talking to ya!