Monday 24 July 2017

Something has to give if workload increases, warns DPP

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has said that his office is fully stretched and has warned that "something will have to give" if there is an increase in the workload of the office.

Gardai are preparing to submit major files on its investigation into Anglo Irish Bank to the office of the DPP early next year.

But DPP James Hamilton has said that although his office "managed to cope" in 2009 despite an increase in files, the office was now stretched to capacity.

"Something will have to give," said Mr Hamilton in the forward to his annual report which will be published today.

The number of files being received by the office has been escalating since it was set up in 1975, when 2,298 were received.

Last year 16,076 files were received by the office.

Mr Hamilton also revealed that there had been a small uptake by relatives of a facility to give reasons where the DPP had decided not to prosecute in fatalities which have occurred after October 2008.

Despite the small uptake, the DPP hopes, subject to constraints on resources, to extend the reasons project to victims of rape and serious sexual assault.

The annual report reveals than nine out of 10 convictions are secured by suspects pleading guilty.

As a result juries convict in just 3pc of cases -- but of that 3pc, more than 90pc result in a guilty verdict.

Jurors acquit just one in 50 accused persons.

Irish Independent

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