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winding up Prosecution in Kevin Lunney kidnapping trial likely to close its case next week

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Trial: Businessman Kevin Lunney

Trial: Businessman Kevin Lunney

Trial: Businessman Kevin Lunney

The prosecution in the Kevin Lunney kidnapping trial is likely to close its case next week, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Prosecutor Sean Guerin SC told the three judges of the non-jury court today of progress that has been made in the case.

It is “highly likely” that the prosecution will close its case next week, he said. The trial, now at the end of its seventh week, had been expected to run for up to 12 weeks.

It has not been indicated yet if any of the accused will be giving evidence.

Four men are on trial over Mr Lunney’s kidnapping in 2019.

The Quinn Industrial Holdings director (52) was bundled into a car outside his Co Fermanagh home and taken to a container where his captors broke his leg with a wooden bat, slashed his face with a stanley knife and doused his wounds in bleach while ordering him to resign from the company.

They carved “QIH” into his chest with the knife before dumping him, stripped to his boxer shorts, on a roadside in Drumcoghill, Co Cavan.

Darren Redmond (27), of Caledon Road, Alan O’Brien (40) of Shelmalier Road, both in East Wall, Dublin, and a man “YZ” (40), who cannot legally be named, are all alleged to have been directly involved in the attack.

Luke O’Reilly (67), from Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan is accused of providing “material assistance in the planning and execution of the offences."

They all face the same charges of false imprisonment and causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan, on September 17th, 2019, which they deny.

Today, John Kavanagh, a photographer for the gardaí, said he took pictures of a Renault Kangoo van in the garda vehicle examination compound at Santry on October 29 2019. The court has heard this van was suspected of being involved in Mr Lunney's kidnapping.

Cross-examined by Michael O’Higgins SC, for YZ, Mr Kavanagh said when a doctor from Forensic Science Ireland performed a luminol test (for the presence of blood) on October 31, he took further photos.

Asked by Mr Guerin if there was a reason he took the photos in question on the 31st and not the 29th, Mr Kavanagh replied that there was a specific test the doctor was doing so he took the pictures with that in mind.

Finbar Garland of advertising website DoneDeal said gardaí asked him for information in relation to ads associated with a particular phone number.

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A 01C-registered Audi was advertised for sale for €350 on August 1, 2019 and on August 5, the seller edited the ad reducing the price to €295. The seller removed the ad the following day.

The court heard previously an Audi with the same registration was suspected to have been involved in the abduction.

David Brown, from a vehicle recovery service, said on July 17, 2019, he was contacted by Luke O’Reilly who said he had bought a lorry at auction and needed to have it collected.

He delivered it to Mr O’Reilly’s yard on July 22, 2019.

Mr Brown was cross-examined by Michael Lynn SC, for Mr O’Reilly. Mr Brown said he had been dealing with Mr O’Reilly for 20 years. He agreed that Mr O’Reilly would buy heavy vehicles, break them down into parts and sell the parts and that was “primarily his business.”

The “sequence of events” described was “fairly typical,” Mr Lynn said. Mr Brown himself had bought parts from Mr O’Reilly and he agreed with Mr Lynn that “a lot of that business of sourcing parts was done by mobile phone.”

Brian Short, of Irish Continental Group Plc, said he was contacted by Garda Sergeant James McDevitt about the movements of a vehicle with a registration ending in PXU.

The court has heard previously the Renault Kangoo van alleged to have been involved in the abduction had this registration.

Mr Short carried out a search and found a booking reference for a rigid van travelling from Dublin to Holyhead on the fast ferry service on August 27, 2019.

The booking was for a male and female and it was checked in. Mr Short told Garrett Baker BL, prosecuting, this did not mean the vehicle travelled on that crossing but “most likely it did.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh.

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