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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Real IRA man McKevitt loses appeal over terrorism conviction

Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 20/05/2014 | 12:12

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McKevitt (Michael): Appeal against his conviction, Supreme Court, Dublin, 13/2/08
Pic Shows: (Center) Michael McKevitt, Alleged leader of the Real I.R.A. leaving court yesterday(Wed) after the second day of his appeal in the Supreme Court.Pic: Courtpix
Michael McKevitt

REAL IRA man Michael McKevitt has lost his latest bid to have his appeal over his conviction for directing terrorism heard on a point of law of exceptional public importance by the Supreme Court.

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He claimed he should have the benefit of a Supreme Court decision in 2012 that found a garda search warrant used to search a man's home in a separate case was invalid and unconstitutional.

This was because it had not been issued by an independent person but by a garda superintendent involved in the case. He claimed a warrant used to search his home was similarly invalid.

The State rejected his claims and asked that his application be struck out.

In its ruling today the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA)  comprised of Mr Justice John MacMenamin, Mr Justice Brian McGovern and Mr Justice John Edwards said McKevitt's application "is entirely misconceived."

The points which he now sought to be referred to the Supreme Court, which he claimed are of exceptional public importance, lacked merit, the CCA added. In the circumstances the court refused his application.

McKevitt was not present in court for today's' ruling.

The State had argued that the invalid warrant case he used to support his claim happened subsequent to his jailing in 2003, for 20 years by the Special Criminal Court, for IRA membership and directing terrorist activities between 1999 and 2001.

In opposing the application the State argued the 2012 decision could not be applied retrospectively.

The State also argued that McKevitt could not rely on the 2012 judgment because he did not challenge the use of evidence gathered under the search warrant during his trial.

McKevitt wanted his appeal referred to the Supreme Court to determine issues including if the judgment in the 2012 case he was basing his latest appeal on amounted to a newly discovered fact.

He also claimed in his application that there was no obligation on him to object to the evidence obtained against him under the search warrant, during his trial.

McKevitt (63), from Blackrock in Co Louth, denied the charges he was jailed on. He lost appeals against these convictions at the CCA in 2005 and in the Supreme Court in 2008.

Last year, the CCA turned down a further appeal by him claiming his conviction was a miscarriage of justice.

Irish Independent

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