THE case against prominent republican Thomas “Slab” Murphy, who is being prosecuted on tax charges, has been put back until the end of the year.
Mr Murphy (60) is bringing a Supreme Court challenge against the constitutionality of a law under which the tax charges against him are to be dealt with by the non-jury Special Criminal Court (SCC) as opposed to the ordinary courts.
Mr Paul Tiernan, for Mr Murphy, this morning told the Special Criminal Court that his client’s case was one of 70 priority cases before the Supreme Court, and while it was anticipated the case would be heard this calendar year, it was unlikely the matter would be dealt with by the end of the next court term.
He asked that the matter be put back until the end of the next court term.
Solicitor Mr Michael O’Donovan said there was no objection from the State but asked that Mr Murphy, who was excused from this morning’s hearing, be directed to attend the next court sitting.
Presiding judge Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, sitting with Judge John O’Hagan and Judge Flannan Brennan, said the court would list the matter for mention on December 10th, 2013 and direct Mr Murphy’s attendance.
Thomas Murphy is being prosecuted on foot of an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau. The nine charges allege that he failed to furnish a return of his income, profits or gains to the Collector General or the Inspector of Taxes for the years 1996/97 to 2004.
Mr Murphy, of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, is appealing to the Supreme Court after losing a High Court challenge in November 2011.