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Legal aid for company director in €29m drug case

A COMPANY director has been granted legal aid after being charged in connection with the seizure of cocaine valued at €29m.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Gareth Hopkins (33) was director of a recycling company, a mining company and had interests in a Polish tobacco company. He also recently received a redundancy payment from a property management company with which he was previously employed.

Mr Hopkins, with addresses at Carnlough Road, Cabra, Dublin, and Leixlip, Co Kildare, was charged in District Court in relation to possession of drugs at Ballycoolin, Dublin, on June 26, 2012, and was sent forward last month to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The court heard the drugs were valued at €29m.

Judge Martin Nolan said Mr Hopkins was "a middle-class enough man" but commented that very few middle-class people would be able to stand the cost of a two-week trial, which he had estimated would cost a minimum of €35,000 in fees.

He granted legal aid.

No trial date has been set for Mr Hopkins and his case will be mentioned again in January.

Irish Independent