Monday 23 October 2017

Garda denies making false statement to GSOC

Pleads not guilty to charge in court

Andrew Phelan

A DETECTIVE garda has denied making a false statement to GSOC in the course of an investigation.

Det Garda David O'Brien is accused of one count of giving false or misleading information to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission on a date in 2012.

The case against him was adjourned after Dublin District Court heard he was pleading not gulity to the charge.

Det Gda O'Brien, of Harcourt Square station is accused of providing information that he knew to be false or misleading to The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission at the GSOC office on Abbey Street on a date in October 2012.

This was allegedly in relation to a complaint or investigation and the alleged offence is under Section 110 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005. A related case against a Dublin woman facing a similar charge is currently before the courts.

When Det Gda O'Brien's case was called before Judge Michael Walsh, Defence Solicitor Matthew Kenny said a date for hearing was being sought.

This means it is to be contested on a plea of not guilty. He said the trial in the non-jury district court would take a full day.

Judge Walsh adjourned the case to a date in May, for mention to set a trial date. Det Gda O'Brien was not present in court, having been excused from attending. The judge also excused his presence on the next date.

Previously, his lawyers made an unsuccessful application to have his case struck out when they challenged the validity of the summons that had been issued for him.

The defence had sought to have the summons struck out because it was "defective" and should not have been issued.

They argued that the applicant stated on the summons was the Chief Prosecuting Solicitor's office, while it had been a representative of GSOC who had given the sworn information in court on January 9.

State Solicitor Michael Durkan accepted that the information had been sworn by GSOC officer Sivan Govinder. However, Mr Durkan had been present in court at the time of the summons application and had asked for it to be issued on foot of Mr Govinder's information.

He said the judge had discrection to enter Mr Govinder's name on the summons instead.

Judge Walsh said at the time he could not see any prejudice to Det Gda O'Brien by making this amendment.

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