Thursday 22 February 2018

'They were caught red handed' - trial of man accused of possession of explosive substance hears

A judgement is expected next Friday. Photo: Collins
A judgement is expected next Friday. Photo: Collins

Anne Sharkey

The Special Criminal Court were told today that the evidence in the trial of a man accused of the unlawful possession of an explosive substance ought to satisfy the court beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty.

Gareth Mulley (45), of Aisling Park, Dundalk, Co Louth has pleaded not guilty to the unlawful possession of an explosive substance - PETN and RDX, an adapted 50 litre beer keg, 50 kg of ammonium nitrate homemade explosives, an improvised steel booster tube and an improvised time and power unit at Kilcurry Church, Co Louth on May 25th, 2014.

The court has heard that Mr Mulley was arrested after a garda operation against dissident republicans in the Co Louth area , involving the Crime and Security Branch and the Special Detective Unit.

He was observed by gardai in the grounds of Kilcurry Church and after his arrest by members of the Emergency Response Unit explosives components were found in a northern registered car.

The prosecution have claimed that the components were for a large beer keg bomb that was to be moved to Northern Ireland. The court also heard evidence from a garda ballistics expert that an improvised time and power unit had a thirty minute delay function. The expert said that the beer keg and components had been used in the past in high explosive improvised explosive devices.

Counsel for the prosecution, Mr Paul Greene SC today (Friday) said that the court could rely on evidence that Mr Mulley is guilty of the indictment.

"The court is aware that all the necessary investigations have taken place. The count alleges possession of material which are explosive substances," he said.

Mr Greene spoke of the connection which was made with Mr Mulley and the parking of a vehicle on May 25th 2014 and what he described as a "evidence of a dry run".

"The court has received CCTV footage of what amounts to an explosive device. They were caught red handed," he continued.

"The scene had been secured and preserved - the boot had been closed initially by Mr Mulley, which is further evidence that he wished to secrete the material that he did not want to be found to be in the possession of," he said.

"The only inference that can be drawn is that he had a directive role in terms of three people who were arrested," he said.

"He was detained and his response to questions raised was to be non responsive," he said.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said that a judgement is expected next Friday (31st).

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