Thursday 19 April 2018

Alleged ex-Provo chief appeals tax evasion conviction

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy
Thomas 'Slab' Murphy
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The alleged former chief of the Provisional IRA, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy has begun an appeal of his conviction for tax evasion.

Lawyers for the 67-year-old have told the Court of Appeal that evidence favourable to Murphy was not given sufficient regard when he was convicted at the Special Criminal Court.

Murphy, who lives on a farm straddling the border at Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, was jailed in February for 18 months for a €190,000 tax fraud.

The court found he did not furnish authorities with a return of income, profits or gains or the sources of them over eight years from 1996 to 2004.

The prosecution arose out of a raid on the Murphy farm in 2006 during which black bags were discovered hidden in a hay shed containing more than a €250,000, and more than Stg£100,000, as well as cheques, documents and laptops.

John Kearney QC told a three-judge appeals court this morning that there was strong evidence some documents used in the case had been forged.

He said Murphy had seven grounds of appeal, including the admissibility of certain statements and evidence.

Murphy, wearing blue shirt and purple jumper, was at the Courts of Criminal Justice in Dublin for opening submissions by his counsel today.

The case is being heard by the President of the Court of Appeal, Seán Ryan, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice John Edwards.

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