Tuesday 25 April 2017

Brian Rattigan trial hears of seized mobile phone

Brian Kavanagh

THE Special Criminal Court trial of Dublin criminal Brian Rattigan has heard evidence relating to a mobile phone seized from a house where €1 million worth of heroin was found in a garda raid.

Rattigan (31), with a last address at Cooley Road, Drimnagh, has pleaded not guilty to the possession of heroin and two counts of possession of the drug for sale or supply on Hughes Road South, Walkinstown, Dublin on May 21st, 2008.

He has also pleaded not guilty to the possession of two mobile phones at Cell 42, E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison while an inmate at the prison on May 22nd, 2008.

The court spent much of the day (Friday) hearing evidence relating to a Nokia 2630 phone which was taken from Anthony Cannon during the garda raid on the house on Hughes Road South.

It is the prosecution case that Rattigan used mobile phones to act as the “directing force” behind a €1 million heroin deal from his cell in Portlaoise Prison.

The court has heard evidence that gardai who raided the house on Hughes Road South discovered five kilos of heroin valued at over €1 million in a shed at the back of the property. There was evidence that gardai also discovered a red and white Nokia phone alongside an electronic weighing scale in the shed.

Last week detectives gave evidence that Rattigan was lying on his bed talking on a mobile phone when they arrived to search his cell, and that the accused man jumped up and threw a phone in their direction when they entered the cell. There was also evidence that the accused man attempted to grab a SIM card on the bed before he was handcuffed.

The non-jury court viewed CCTV footage of an object being thrown on to a landing at Portlaoise prison during the garda search of the accused man’s cell.

In March 2011 the Director of Public Prosecutions ordered that Rattigan's trial should be moved from the Circuit Criminal Court to the Special Criminal Court (SCC), which normally deals with terrorist offences, because the ordinary courts are "inadequate" to try the case.

The Special Criminal Court was told that the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, made an order that Rattigan should be tried at the non-jury SCC following an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions under the Offences Against the State Act.

The trial continues on Tuesday in front of presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler.

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