“Difficulties have arisen” in the scheduling of a bid by Gerard “The Monk” Hutch to recoup his legal costs after he was acquitted last month of the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel, the Special Criminal Court has heard.
Mr Hutch is seeking his legal costs and the hearing on the application, which the State is opposing, was originally listed for Friday of this week.
However, Ms Fiona Murphy SC, prosecuting, told the non-jury court on Wednesday morning that “difficulties have arisen” and asked the court to put the matter in for mention on the last week of the Easter court term, which ends on May 25th.
Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, in the three-judge, non-jury court, said she would not do that and instead set a new date for the costs hearing. The judge listed the costs application for the first day of next term on June 7th. “If any issues arise in relation to that we will notify the parties immediately. As things stand it’s June 7th,” she added.
Ms Murphy said the State’s replying submissions will be filed and served next week.
Ms Justice Burns said the sentence matter for the two men convicted of acting as getaway drivers during the notorious hotel attack in 2016 will stay in the list, and they will be sentenced on Friday.
Last Monday, Sean Gillane SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said that submissions from the defence regarding Mr Hutch’s costs application had been served on the State, that the application would be opposed, and it would take no more than an hour when it was heard.
Defence barrister Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Hutch, said on Monday that he understood that this was “fairly well trodden territory”.
Last month following the 52-day trial at the Special Criminal Court, two long-term friends of the Hutch family – taxi driver Paul Murphy and builder Jason Bonney – were found guilty at the Special Criminal Court of acting as getaway drivers.
The court has heard that Bonney has no previous convictions and once ran a building company employing 10 people.
The non-jury court has also heard that Murphy has 67 previous convictions which include public order offences, road traffic offences, larceny and criminal damage. They have all been dealt with at District Court level. Mr Murphy, the court heard, had changed his name by deed poll from Christopher Ryan to Paul Murphy in 1987.
Ms Justice Tara Burns sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone will pass sentence on Murphy and Bonney on Friday.
In acquitting Mr Hutch for murder, the Special Criminal Court found that it could not rely on the unsupported evidence of the former Sinn Féin councillor and convicted torturer Jonathan Dowdall.
It also found that surveillance audio recordings of a conversation between Dowdall and Mr Hutch did not corroborate Dowdall’s claim that Mr Hutch had confessed to being one of the hitmen at the Regency Hotel where Mr Byrne was shot dead.