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Thursday 23 November 2017

Ombudsman to probe judge's garda criticism

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE Garda Ombudsman will investigate a judge's high-profile criticism of two senior gardai who handled a "supergrass", the Irish Independent has learned.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) will examine the remarks made by Judge Barry White about Detective Sergeant Adrian Whitelaw and retired detective superintendent, PJ Browne.

The Ombudsman will then decide if a formal investigation should take place.

Earlier this week a Dublin man was found guilty of the 2009 murder of father-of-three John 'Champers' Carroll in the city following a three-month "supergrass" trial.

The Carroll murder trial was built around the word of only one man, Joseph O'Brien (26), who admitted taking part in the murder and was run "off the books" as an informant for almost five years by gardai.

In his charge to the jury, Judge White noted that after O'Brien was arrested on suspicion of murder, O'Brien had secured two "private audiences" with Det Sgt Whitelaw and Supt Browne. He said the senior officers had twice disregarded rules which call for the videotaping of interviews.

The judge said that the jury might consider the gardai to be "well rid of" Supt Browne who "flouted the law" during the investigation and that Det Sgt Whitelaw "may not be the type of man you want to see in the force".

GSOC told the Irish Independent that it monitored all developments in court proceedings.

Irish Independent

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