The latest updates on proceedings at the Smithwick Tribunal in the BBC and the RTÉ reports both lead with news that the tribunal is to relocate to the Special Criminal Court for Monday’s appearance by convicted Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt. But the bulk of both reports concern the [repeated] non-appearance of former Assistant Garda Commissioner Kevin Carty. As the BBC report notes
Kevin Carty assisted in an internal garda probe conducted in the days after the murders, into what garda officers or other State employees knew of the visit of two RUC officers to Dundalk Garda station.
Judge Smithwick described that investigation as the “bedrock of the garda approach to the issue of alleged collusion”.
“It is important that I should hear from him as he may have information supportive of the manner in which this investigation was carried out,” Judge Smithwick said.
The former Garda assistant commissioner has been living outside the country on a regular basis working with the UN.
In September Mr Carty failed to turn up to give evidence, despite the tribunal having issued a summons and six other forms of correspondence to his Irish address since March of this year.
And the RTÉ report adds
Earlier he had been criticised by Judge Smithwick after he failed to appear when he was called some months ago.
It then emerged he was working for the UN and was living in Armenia.
He agreed to return to give evidence to the Tribunal.
Return flights [from Armenia to Ireland] had been booked and paid for by the tribunal earlier this month.
Yesterday, however Mr Carty informed the tribunal by email that he would not be attending on medical advice.
Attached was an unsigned letter from a doctor in Vienna saying that as a result of a condition, Mr Carty should avoid stress and avoid two flights in 24 hours.
The doctor’s certificate said Mr Carty lived in Poland. [added emphasis]
Judge Smithwick said the issues raised by the unsigned certificate could have been resolved.
However, he was now in the position of considering whether he should refer the former Assistant Garda Commissioner to the High Court for his non-attendance.
The judge added that he hoped this would not happen and he would appear to give evidence.
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