Gerry Adams crony guilty of tax dodging
Prominent republican Thomas 'Slab' Murphy is facing a potential prison term of up to five years after he was convicted of tax fraud.
Murphy's conviction is hugely embarrassing for Sinn Féin after president Gerry Adams infamously lionised him as a "good republican".
Last night, Mr Adams was floundering when asked if he still held those views.
Murphy had denied nine charges of failing to comply with tax laws, but was convicted on all counts after a 32-day trial at the Special Criminal Court.
The prosecution alleged he did not furnish a return of income, profits or gains or their sources over eight years.
In March 2006, Mr Adams sprang to Murphy's defence when police and customs swooped.
During the major search operation, CAB and its northern counterparts uncovered evidence of a hidden economy worth hundreds of millions of euro.
Mr Adams then described Murphy as "a keen supporter of the Sinn Féin peace strategy".
Asked if he still held these views last night, Mr Adams said he was "aware of the reports" relating to the Murphy case.
"He has strongly contested the accusations," he said. Mr Adams added: "I have no comment to make until the legal process has been concluded."