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gang boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch expected to claim he won't get fair trial in Special Criminal Court

Gardaí believe alleged crime boss will fight 'tooth and nail'


Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch is expected to claim that he won't get a fair trail if extradited to Ireland from Spain.

The gang boss may also assert that the publicity surrounding the Regency Hotel attack - which he is suspected of orchestrating - will bias his chances.

Hutch appeared before a court in Madrid on Saturday following an overnight transit, via armed convoy, from the Guardia Civil Command Centre in Fuengirola.

The Herald understands Hutch was refused bail and remanded in custody pending a hearing on the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued against him for the murder of David Byrne.

It is understood he will be transferred to the maximum security Alhaurin de la Torre prison - where he will be held ahead of his next appearance before Spain's Central Audiencia Nacional Court in Madrid.

The maximum security facility is the jail where Christy Kinahan and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher, were remanded after their arrests in May 2010, following a major police investigation into drugs trafficking and money laundering.

It has also housed the likes of killer Eric 'Lucky' Wilson and wife killer Dermot McArdle.

Senior gardaí believe Hutch will fight tooth and nail against his extradition.

Sources say he is likely to argue that he has already been convicted of the murder of David Byrne in the Irish media. And, it is expected, he will protest that he will not be afforded a jury of his peers, as his trial will be heard in the Special Criminal Court.

Separately, sources have rubbished online speculation that Hutch had wanted to be caught and face down the murder charge - saying, if this was the case, he would have simply given himself up at any Spanish police station.

Hutch is expected to appear again before Spain's Central Audiencia Nacional Court in the coming weeks.

In what is expected to be a closed court sitting, Hutch will have the contents of the EAW read to him. He will be asked whether he wishes to comply with or contest the warrant.

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The charge contained in the warrant is for the murder of David Byrne, who was shot dead when a five-man hit team stormed a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in Dublin on February 5, 2016.

Other charges relating to conspiracy to murder, possession of firearms and leadership of a criminal organisation are also likely to be preferred on Hutch's return to Ireland.

A source yesterday warned that no one should expect Hutch's extradition home to occur quickly.

"It could take as long as six months," the source told the Herald.

It very much depends on what arguments he makes and how long the Spanish equivalent of our High Court takes to decide on whether or not they have any validity.

"The first step in establishing the validity of the EAW is to show that the charge on the warrant is not just a crime in Ireland but also constitutes a crime in Spanish law.

"There is no difficulty envisaged in that regard as murder is murder, regardless of what jurisdiction it occurs in.

"It's more likely that Hutch will make his stand on the issue of whether or not he feels he can get a fair trial.

"He is likely to bring up the publicity in the wake of the attack on the Regency.

"The belief is he will argue it will be impossible for him to get a fair trial. Again, this argument is likely to fail but it may drag the process out."

Separately, a legal source said Hutch could also contest the EAW warrant on the grounds he will face trial before the Special Criminal Court if he is returned home.

If successfully extradited, Gerry Hutch will become the second member of the Hutch family to be trialled before the Special Criminal Court on suspicion of the murder of David Byrne in the Regency.

In February of 2019, Gerry's nephew Patrick Hutch walked free from the Special Criminal Court after charges against him for the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel were dropped by the State.

Patrick (26) had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Byrne (34) at the Drumcondra venue on February 5, 2016.

But counsel for the DPP said the State was no longer in a position to lead evidence on a number of matters "sadly" as a result of the death of the lead investigating garda on the case, Det Supt Colm Fox.

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