murder case | 

Gerard Hutch must pay half legal costs for Supreme Court case against trial

The hearing of the murder case against Hutch continues

Gerry Hutch

Tim HealyIndependent.ie

Gerard Hutch will be ordered to pay half of the State’s legal costs incurred in his failed appeal over the lawfulness of his then-pending trials before the non-jury Special Criminal Court (SCC).

Mr Hutch and Jonathan Dowdall went on trial last month over the 2016 murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne (33) at the Regency Hotel in February 2015.

Dowdall later pleaded guilty to facilitating the gangland shooting by making a hotel room available to a criminal organisation.

As a result, the murder charge against him was withdrawn. This came after Dowdall agreed to give evidence against his former co-accused in the case.

The hearing of the murder case against Hutch continues.

Both had, before the criminal trials, brought legal challenges to being tried in the SCC and lost in the High Court and the Supreme Court.

In a post-appeal ruling about legal costs, a five-judge Supreme Court decided to award the State parties 50pc of their fees in circumstances where they did not seek costs against Dowdall (44) as he had legal aid.

In principle, the State was entitled to have all of its legal costs covered, as the two men lost their civil law attempt to prevent their criminal trials, the court said.

In July of this year, the Supreme Court found the SCC has “full jurisdiction” to try the men.

The trial of Mr Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin, in which he denies the murder of Mr Byrne at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016, is ongoing in the SCC.

For the Supreme Court civil law appeal, the chief justice Donal O’Donnell, Mr Justice Peter Charleton, Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan and Mr Justice Brian Murray did not consider it was appropriate to make a “no costs” order which would have meant both sides pays their own costs.

They said Mr Hutch and Dowdall had a “significant personal interest” in bringing the proceedings and the appeal.

However, given no order was sought against Dowdall, the judges said it was not appropriate to visit the entire costs of the appeal on Mr Hutch.

Mr Hutch argued no costs order should be made against him as he said he merely adopted legal arguments already made by Dowdall. The judges said the cases were identical in every way.

The court will order that the State and Oireachtas respondents are entitled to half their costs of the appeal, as against Mr Hutch, the judges said.

The order does not extend to costs connected to an application from the taxpayer-funded Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) to participate in the appeal as an “amicus curiae”, or friend of the court. This issue can be dealt with by a ruling, the judges said.

In his ruling over the summer, Chief Justice O’Donnell commented that IHREC made submissions that were “quite separate and distinct” from the case and “do not resolve or purport to resolve the issues raised”.

Mr Justice O’Donnell said the court will expect future applications from a party seeking to be joined to a case as an amicus to specifically address how the party’s joinder will assist with the resolution of a particular case.


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