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Gilligan remanded back into custody in €23,000 cash-smuggling probe

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John Gilligan

John Gilligan

John Gilligan

Police are following "international lines of enquiry" as they investigate criminal John Gilligan, who is accused of trying to smuggle more than €20,000 out of Northern Ireland, a judge heard yesterday.

A prosecuting lawyer also told District Judge Nigel Broderick that while the investigation into the 66-year-old convicted drug smuggler "is in its early stages", the file has been assigned and police have a mobile phone "to be examined".

"There are international lines of inquiry to be pursued," the lawyer said.

Appearing at Antrim Magis- trates Court via videolink from Maghaberry Prison, near Lisburn, 66-year-old Gill- igan confirmed his identity and that he could see and hear the court, telling the clerk: "Yes, I can, thank you very much."

Gilligan, of Greenfort Crescent, Dublin, is in custody acc-used of attempting to remove criminal property from Northern Ireland on August 23.

It is understood the charge arises after officers from the National Crime Agency arrested Gilligan at Belfast International Airport and seized €23,000 which the Crown claims arises from crime.

At the time, a police statement said: "National Crime Agency officers have today charged a man with money- laundering offences."

Gilligan initially appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court last month when he was ref- used bail and remanded in custody.

In court yesterday, while the prosecution sought an adjournment for four weeks, defence solicitor Jim McGinnis asked for the "shortest possible adjournment" so that "momentum is maintained".

Hospital

"Mr Gilligan is 66 and he doesn't enjoy good health," said Mr McGinnis.

He added that since Gilligan was remanded to Maghaberry "he has already had to be taken to hospital".

"He was badly injured during an attempt on his life in 2014 when he was shot six times," Mr McGinnis told the court.

Judge Broderick said he would have to recuse himself from hearing the case because before taking up his position on the bench, "I was previously a partner in a firm that represented Mr Gilligan in the Special Criminal Court, therefore it would not be appropriate for me to rule on the case".

The judge said he would adjourn the case for a week, but in the meantime he had e-mailed the resident judge in Coleraine Magistrates Court to see if he would take the case on while still keeping it in that county court division.

He told the prosecution and defence lawyers, however, that the judge is currently on annual leave and may not have access to his e-mail.

With Gilligan remanded back into custody to appear again next Tuesday, Mr McGinnis asked for him to be held back for the purposes of a videolink consultation.


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