LAWYERS for the accused within the Kevin Lunney abduction trial have objected to the process utilized by gardai to safe telephone data.
ichael O’Higgins SC, for one of many 4 defendants, is difficult the laws beneath which officers acquired warrants to entry the information from cell suppliers.
He has informed the Particular Legal Courtroom the data are inadmissible as prosecution proof, and his arguments are additionally being adopted by attorneys for the opposite co-accused.
4 males are on trial on the non-jury, three-judge court docket charged over Mr Lunney’s kidnapping and torture in 2019.
The Quinn Industrial Holdings director (52) was bundled right into a automobile outdoors his Co Fermanagh dwelling and brought to a container the place his captors broke his leg, slashed his face with a stanley knife and doused his wounds in bleach whereas ordering him to resign from the corporate.
They carved “QIH” into his chest with the knife and informed him it was so he would “bear in mind” earlier than dumping him on a roadside in Co Cavan, the court docket has heard.
Darren Redmond (27), of Caledon Street, Alan O’Brien (40) of Shelmalier Street, each in East Wall, Dublin, and a person “YZ” (40), who can not legally be named, are all alleged to have been immediately concerned within the assault.
Luke O’Reilly (67), from Mullahoran Decrease, Kilcogy, Co Cavan allegedly offered “materials help within the planning and execution of the offences” and owned the land the place Mr Lunney was allegedly held.
All of them face the identical expenses of false imprisonment and inflicting critical hurt to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan, on September seventeenth, 2019, which they deny.
Mr O’Higgins was making submissions for a second day as we speak in his problem to the telephone proof.
The court docket heard gardaí acquired the information utilizing search warrants beneath part 10 of the Legal Justice (Miscellaenous Provisions) Act 1997, which had been granted by a district court docket decide.
It had been now not potential to make use of their regular process by garda Safety and Intelligence, utilizing the Communications (Retention of Knowledge) Act 2011.
This was as a result of the 2011 Act is on the centre of convicted assassin Graham Dwyer’s ongoing authorized problem to Eire’s cell knowledge retention system. His problem has been upheld by the Excessive Courtroom however referred by the Supreme Courtroom to the Courtroom of Justice of the European Union.
At present, Mr O’Higgins stated Articles 7 and eight of the EU Constitution of Basic Rights set out that everybody had a proper to respect for his or her non-public and household life, dwelling and communications, and safety of private knowledge.
After an EU directive was launched, the onus was on member states to introduce laws to provide impact to its necessities. He stated it was by no means supposed that this is able to be coated by laws that was already 5 years outdated – the 1997 Act.
There had been points in relation to the 2011 Act’s compatibility with EU regulation for plenty of years. Mr O’Higgins referred to a 2017 report by the previous chief justice John Murray which discovered the 2011 laws amounted to mass surveillance of the inhabitants of the State, which it concluded was in breach of European regulation.
Mr O’Higgins stated the federal government might have amended the laws however this was not executed.
“What they did do was, it doesn’t matter what roadblock was put up, the coverage seems to have been, plough on. And when it reached a degree the place ploughing on was now not an possibility then the guards, who’re to some extent caught in the course of all this and have to research crime, resorted to the 1997 Act.”
What had occurred for years was an “elastic band method” and “we are actually ten years on and no signal of a invoice earlier than the Oireachtas,” Mr O’Higgins stated.
He stated he can be making the case that “it’s a sequence of dominoes”, that there was no authorized premise for the fabric being generated and handed over and “Part 10 doesn’t treatment the entry level.”
“If we’re right in that, then the fabric is unlawfully obtained,” he stated.
The trial continues earlier than Mr Justice Tony Hunt, Choose Gerard Griffin and Choose David McHugh.