Wednesday 13 December 2017

Cassidy to review pathology reports by ex-deputy

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy. Photo: Collins
State Pathologist Marie Cassidy. Photo: Collins

Alan O'Keeffe

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy has undertaken a series of retrospective reviews into all the pathology cases conducted by a former colleague during a two-year period.

The decision to carry out the reviews of cases undertaken by former deputy state pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber was made after what the Department of Justice declared was a development in a particular court case. The department would not give details of the case in question.

In December, it was revealed that a pathology report carried out by Dr Jaber was not peer-reviewed prior to being used in a 2013 murder trial.

Professor Cassidy had previously issued an instruction that all work by individual pathologists on homicide cases conducted by the Office of State Pathology be 'peer-reviewed' by colleagues.

The 2013 murder trial was the second such case to be revealed in which Dr Jaber's report was not peer-reviewed, contrary to procedures.

The series of reviews by the State Pathologist was reported yesterday on RTÉ's 'This Week' programme on Radio One.

The Department of Justice declined to give RTÉ the specific details of the reasons for Dr Cassidy's series of reviews of Dr Jaber's cases and whether they related to the peer-review procedural matter.

Director of Public Prosecutions Claire Loftus sought a retrial last month in the case of Colm Deely, who was convicted in 2013 for the murder of Deirdre McCarthy in 2011.

Retrial

Before seeking the retrial, the State confirmed to Mr Deely's legal team that Dr Jaber's pathology report had not been peer-reviewed before the trial.

Mr Deely's solicitor Gearoid Geraghty told the court he had become aware of a "very serous deficiency in Dr Jaber's procedures".

The Deely murder trial was the second one in which the lack of a peer-review into Dr Jaber's work was raised as a legal issue.

Another murder trial, that of Patrick Connors, who was charged with the alleged murder of Michael Furlong in Enniscorthy, collapsed following the intervention of Dr Cassidy.

She wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions to inform the prosecutor that, among other matters, Dr Jaber's pathology report had not been peer-reviewed.

Irish Independent

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