Sunday 21 October 2018

DPP worker accused of leaks connected to Butterly murder case

The scene of the murder of Peter Butterly
The scene of the murder of Peter Butterly

Tom Tuite

An employee in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is facing trial accused of leaking confidential information in connection with murder trials.

Jonathan Lennon (34) from Clonee, Dublin 15, is accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act in relation to criminal proceedings resulting from the murder of dissident republican Peter Butterly.

Butterly was shot dead outside The Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath, in 2013.

Mr Lennon appeared before Judge Gerard Jones at a district court in Dublin and was ordered to appear again in September when he will have to say how he will plead.

The father of three is accused of four offences contrary to Section Four and 13 of the Official Secrets Act 1963, as amended by Section 48 of the Freedom of Information Act 1997.

A State solicitor told Judge Jones the prosecution has made disclosure of evidence and the case would have to be adjourned.

Peter Butterly
Peter Butterly

CCTV evidence along with DVDs of interviews had to be handed over to the defence.

"It is a serious matter, four alleged offences," the prosecution solicitor said.

The case involves alleged communications over two days.

Judge Jones agreed to make minor amendments to the charges in relation to the dates of the offences.

Dressed in blue jeans, a grey blazer and a white shirt, the accused remained silent during the hearing.

Anne FitzGibbon, defending, asked for legal aid to be granted to her client whom she said worked for the DPP but has been suspended from his job and was getting €400 a week.

He had a family and a mortgage, the solicitor submitted. Legal aid was granted.

It is alleged that on September 7, 2017 and the following day, without authorisation, he communicated with another person official information within the possession, custody or control of the DPP, a holder of public office, relating to the prosecution of individuals arising from the murder of Peter Butterly on March 6, 2013.

His case will resume at Blanchardstown District Court.

On Tuesday at the Special Criminal Court, Dean Evans (27), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Dublin, was given a mandatory life sentence for the murder of 35-year-old father-of-three Peter Butterly from Dunleer, Co Louth.

Three other men are due to go on trial later this year on the same murder charge.

Irish Independent

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