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breaks silence Daniel Kinahan issues public statement ahead of BBC Panorama probe into boxing world

Regency target says he will never return home to Ireland, claims he is a 'legitimate and respected businessman'

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Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan has released his first public statement ahead of a major BBC Panorama investigation due to be aired on Monday.

On the fifth anniversary of one of the most horrific murders in Irish gangland history, Kinahan said he cannot leave his new base in the Middle East.

In the lengthy statement, he claimed he cannot get a "fair trial" in Ireland.

The 43-year-old issued a lengthy statement in which he says he is "a legitimate and respected businessman" working in the boxing world.

"Daniel is incapable of receiving a fair trial, not just in Ireland but elsewhere in the world due to the barrage of media accusations and coverage," the statement said.

Gardai insist Kinahan is the leader of a ruthless criminal organisation and they are building a case against him in relation to his alleged role in organised crime and murders.

Kinahan remains in Dubai out of the reach of our law enforcement agencies and is heavily involved in the multi-million euro boxing industry.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been in communication with authorities in the United Arab Emirates about Kinahan's presence there.

Although he has been named in the High Court as the leader of an international drugs cartel, he claims the statements made in court were "wholly untrue and unsupported by any evidence".

He also seeks to blame the media for the "relentless publication" of articles linking him to crime.

However, it is not only journalists who have tracked his alleged links to organised crime and drug dealing.

He has been the target of police operations in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, the Middle East and South America.

In the Dáil last year, then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was "taken aback" to hear of Kinahan's involvement in a major boxing match headlined by Tyson Fury.

Mr Varadkar urged sports organisations and the media to "have nothing to do with" the fight.

It is now five years since images of armed men dressed as gardaí storming a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin shocked the country.

While Kinahan escaped what was a third attempt on his life, his close associate and friend David Byrne was shot dead.

It sparked the Hutch- Kinahan feud that has resulted in up to 18 killings, including the murders of at least three innocent people.

In his statement, Kinahan expresses no remorse for the feud or the deaths and instead presents himself as the victim of an "orchestrated" campaign of lies.

"The opinion of garda, expressed during court proceedings unconnected to Daniel, is routinely presented as fact, absent of scrutiny or context," the statement issued with his consent said.

It added that he has no convictions and should be considered "innocent until proven guilty".

Kinahan, who says he is a "proud Irishman", stated: "A lie repeated one hundred times is still a lie. My wish, as is my God-given right, is to continue my professional and family life in peace and without continued harassment and I will vigorously defend my right to do so."

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Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

It comes ahead of a BBC Panorama documentary to be screened on Monday night, which is part of a lengthy investigation into the Dubliner and his role in boxing promotion.

Kinahan was previously described in a Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) affidavit to the High Court as managing and controlling the day-to-day drug trafficking operations of the Kinahan gang.

According to evidence put forward by CAB before the High Court, he is one of two leaders of the Kinahan cartel and is based in Dubai.

"It would appear that (Christopher Kinahan Snr) is now resident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and that the day-to-day operations of his drug trafficking are managed and controlled by his sons, Christopher Jnr and Daniel Kinahan," the court was told.

Ultimately, the CAB action against the cartel resulted in them losing €1.4m in criminal assets.

However, this weekend Kinahan insisted he is "a legitimate businessman who has the trust and respect of leading international figures in his industry".

"Daniel has worked tirelessly over the last decade and a half protecting the interests of the fighters whose trust and respect he treasures," the statement said.

It does not directly address the fact that Kinahan and his father and brother were all main targets and were among 23 people arrested in Spain, Ireland and the UK as part of the massive 2010 international police operation into international drug smuggling codenamed Operation Shovel.

However, it does claim he has built a "legitimate career" in international boxing over the last 15 years.

In July 2018, at the trial of cartel member James Quinn for the murder of Gary Hutch, a Spanish police officer told the court Daniel Kinahan had ordered the murder of his one time close associate Gary Hutch.

That gun murder in September 2015 was the starting point for the Hutch-Kinahan feud and made Kinahan the target of the Regency bloodbath less than five months later.

"We attributed the Gary Hutch murder to the Kinahan clan early on and concluded James Quinn was the material author of the crime with assistance from others after that," the officer said.

Kinahan's statement does not address this either.

Many of the main players in the Kinahan cartel are locked up for a variety of serious offences including murder, involvement in murder plots, being caught with weapons, cash and drugs and many others are awaiting trial.

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