Monday 11 December 2017

Prominent republican 'Slab' Murphy pleaded not guilty to tax offences

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy
Thomas 'Slab' Murphy

Diarmaid MacDermott

PROMINENT Republican Thomas "Slab" Murphy pleaded not guilty to tax offences at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

Murphy (66), of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, denied nine offences and replied “not guilty” when the indictment was put to him by the court registrar.

Wearing a pink shirt, green zipper jacket and brown trousers, Murphy was accompanied by members of his family for the thirty minute hearing.

Mr Murphy is being prosecuted on foot of an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau. The nine charges allege that he failed to furnish a return of his income, profits or gains or the source of his income, profits or gains  to the Collector General or the Inspector of Taxes for the years 1996/97 to 2004.

He was returned for trial to the Special Criminal Court in 2008 from Dundalk District Court and he challenged the return at the High Court in November 2008.  The High Court found that Murphy's rights had been breached but ruled that the trial should go ahead.

Murphy’s counsel Mr John Kearney QC applied to the court to adjourn the trial until Thursday. He said that there had been “rolling disclosure” in the case and that neither he or his junior had had access to thousands of pages of disclosure.

Counsel said that the short adjournment would allow the defence and prosecution to consider issues of admissibility in the trial and this could lead to “ a considerable tranche of evidence” not troubling the court.

Prosecuting counsel Mr Paul Burns SC said that there had been a lot of disclosure in recent days and he agreed that the trial should be adjourned until Thursday. He told the court that he was hopeful that the trial could be completed within the three weeks allocated for it in the list.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding with Judge O’ Hagan and Judge Ryan, said the court would adjourn the trial until Thursday.

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