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Episode 199: The bugging dilemma - Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch's murder trial at a crossroads

Judges at the Special Criminal Court set to rule on the admissibility of evidence relating to 10 hours of recorded conversation

Nicola TallantSunday World

THE judges at the Special Criminal Court are set to rule on the admissibility of evidence relating to 10 hours of conversation between murder accused Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch and ex-Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall, captured by a garda bugging device on March 7 2016.

The defence, led by Brendan Grehan SC, says almost eight hours of the contents of the audio recording of the conversations should be thrown out, as Dowdall's jeep was travelling through Northern Ireland at the time and therefore is ‘illicit fruit’.

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The prosecution disagrees, and counsel Sean Gillane says the bug was an inanimate object and the recordings are lawful as the device was deployed, retrieved and downloaded in the Republic.

The decision will be hugely significant for garda operations and for criminals. Nicola Tallant chats with courts reporter Alison O’Riordan about the crossroads in the Regency trial and what the judgement will mean for gardai, the surveillance act and the accused.

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