Tuesday 22 January 2019

Daniel Kinahan ordered Gary Hutch's murder, policeman tells Spanish court

James Quinn at Malaga Criminal Court yesterday. Photo: solarpix.com
James Quinn at Malaga Criminal Court yesterday. Photo: solarpix.com

Gerard Couzens

The feud killing of Gary Hutch in Spain was ordered by cartel leader Daniel Kinahan, a police investigator has told the trial of an Irishman accused of his murder.

James Quinn, a nephew of veteran criminal Martin 'The Viper' Foley, is accused of shooting Hutch dead on the Costa del Sol - a murder that led to the Hutch-Kinahan feud which has claimed up to 18 lives.

The second day of his trial in Malaga Criminal Court was also told how the accused had a photograph of Daniel Kinahan's mother in his wallet when he was arrested.

Alleged gangland assassin Quinn (35) shook his head yesterday as the clothes recovered from what was said to be his torched "getaway" car were dumped in front of him.

Jurors were allowed to touch the charred remains of garments prosecutors say he was wearing when he gunned down Hutch - and compare them to a new-looking baseball cap Quinn's lawyer is turning into the key focus of his trial.

Quinn turned his head from side to side as a court clerk threw the contents of evidence bags on the floor for the jurors to examine. DNA obtained from the cap - and matched to Quinn after undercover police snatched a bottle of water he had drunk from while he was under surveillance after the horrific murder of Hutch on September 24, 2015 - proved crucial to his arrest.

Gary Hutch
Gary Hutch

The second day of the trial started and finished with defence lawyer Pedro Apalategui questioning why the cap had been mentioned in police reports only after the DNA match and why it looked so different from the other badly burnt clothes found in the getaway car.

Most of the police who gave evidence did so from behind a half-open door so they were seen only by the lawyers and part of the jury.

One chief investigator told the court that officers had quickly determined that Daniel Kinahan had ordered the murder.

He said Quinn was named as the potential killer in an internal Garda report they were sent. He revealed Spanish police also linked him to the Kinahan family after concluding he had been picked up from his torched getaway car by a Peugeot 206 registered to his late mother.

A second vehicle allegedly used as a look-out car was linked by detectives to a woman described as Daniel Kinahan's Romanian then-partner, the police officer told the court.

He also told how Quinn, one of five people arrested over Hutch's murder but the only one to be charged and put on trial, had a photo of Daniel Kinahan's mother Jean Boylan in his wallet when he was arrested.

Referring to a taped phone conversation Quinn had with a relative hours after innocent council worker Trevor O'Neill was shot dead in Majorca in August 2016 when he was mistaken for a member of the Hutch family, he added: "Before it was publicly known the killer in that crime had got the wrong person, he was talking to the relative in code and referring to a tattoo with the word 'failed'.

"That showed clearly he was a member of a drugs-trafficking organisation.

"We attributed the Gary Hutch murder to the Kinahan clan early on and concluded James Quinn was the material author of the crime with assistance from others after that."

State prosecutors want Quinn jailed for life if he is found guilty of Hutch's murder. He is also on trial for illegal weapons possession.

The father of one says he is innocent and insists he was in bed with a hangover and a prostitute when Hutch was killed.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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