Patrick Kennedy to be sentenced January 22nd on IRA gun charge

Patrick Kennedy (69), with an address at South Earl Street, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty i​n October​ to the unlawful possession of a .455 Colt model “New Service” revolver and a .455 Calibre Webley Mark 6 revolver bearing serial number 324736 at James’ Street, Dublin 8 on September 14th, 2013.

At today’s sentence hearing, Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce​, of the Special Detective Unit,​ summarised the facts of the case.

​H​e told ​prosecuting counsel, ​​Tony ​McGillicuddy BL, tha​t after receiving confidential information there was to be a transfer of firearms between members of the IRA on September 14th, 2013, gardai put in place a surveillance operation on the defendant and his co-accused Gary Yeung. ​

​In 2015, having pleaded guilty at the three-judge court to possessing the firearms, Yeung was jailed for five years, with three years suspended.​

​The court heard today that ​Yeung had travelled from Limerick to ​Dublin on the day in question ​and was seen by gardai on James St.

Kennedy approached Yeung​, who opened a satchel and handed the defendant a beige canvas bag with the logo LV. ​

​The court heard that ​Kennedy went into a pub​ and​ placed the bag at his feet​ before gardai followed him in, searched the bag and found two firearms. ​

​A ballistics examination showed that one of the firearms was rusted but functional and that the other did not work.

Kennedy, who is married ​with​ two children,​ has three previous convictions, the most recent of which, for assault, dates back to 1978. ​

​Det Sgt Boyce agreed with Bernard Condon SC, for Kennedy, that the weapons were old.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge ​Ann Ryan​, remanded Kennedy on continuing bail until January 22nd, when he will be sentenced.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News

Kevin Braney refused bail on IRA membership charge

A man charged with murder and IRA membership was refused bail at the Central Criminal Court this morning.

Kevin Braney (43) with a last address at Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght in Dublin is charged with the murder of Peter Butterly, a 35-year-old father of two who was shot dead on March 6, 2013 outside The Huntsman Inn in Gormanston, Co Meath.

Mr Braney is further charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on March 6, 2013.

John Berry BL said the State was objecting under Section 2(A) of the Bail Act. The Act allows an objection to bail based on fears that the applicant will commit a further serious offence if released on bail.

Evidence was given by Detective Chief Superintendent Anthony Howard.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said he would refuse bail on the basis that refusal is reasonably necessary to prevent a serious crime.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News

Trial date set for men facing charges arising out of Dave Cullen Supergrass evidence

Books of evidence were served on five men in connection with the case before the non-jury Special Criminal Court this morning.

They were Michael McDermott (58), of Riverdale House, Garrymore, Ballinagh, Co. Cavan, who was one of the men charged with the actual killing of Mr Butterly outside the pub that day.

Secondly, he is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh Na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on the same date.

He is also charged with possession of a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol with the intent to commit murder and the possession of seven rounds of 9mm ammunition on March 5, 2013 at Blackthorn Apartments, Brackenwood Avenue, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.

Kevin Braney (43) with a last address at Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght in Dublin is also charged with Mr Butterly’s murder. He is further charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on March 6, 2013.

He is also charged with the possession of a 9mm calibre Beretta model 9000s semi-automatic pistol and the possession of seven rounds of 9mm ammunition with the intent to commit murder on March 5, 2013 at Blackthorn Apartments, Brackenwood Avenue, Balbriggan.

Frank Murphy (58), of McDonough Caravan Park, Triton Road, Bettystown, Co. Meath is the third man charged with Mr Butterly’s killing.

He is also charged with possession of a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol with the intent to commit murder and the possession of seven rounds of 9mm ammunition on the same date.

He is further charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the state, namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA at the time.

Laurence Murphy (60), a brother of Frank Murphy and also of McDonough Caravan Park, Triton Road, Bettystown, Co. Meath is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the state, namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on March 6, 2013.

Ray Kennedy (38), of Whitestown Drive, Blanchardstown, in Dublin is also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh Na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on March 6, 2013.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding with Judge Sinéad Ni Chúlacháin, Judge Cormac Dunne set at trial date for 2nd October 2018 for all five men, noting that the estimate for the duration of the trial was up to ten weeks.

She extended legal aid to cover a second junior counsel for each man, on hearing of the volume of paperwork in the case.

With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News

Trail collapses – After Gardai threaten Lithuanian on “dissident republican” charges, “tape revealed” in court on 20th March.

A trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court has collapsed after it emerged the accused taped a conversation in which gardai told him that his partner would be arrested and his child would go in to care if he did not accept responsibility for other charges.

Eimantas Valteris (33) was arrested by gardai in 2013 as part of an ongoing operation to counter dissident republican activities in the border area. He was the first Lithuanian to stand trial at the Special Criminal Court.

The prosecution decision not to proceed with the trial came after the court heard a “voir dire” or trial within a trial.

During the voir dire, the Special Criminal Court was played a taped conversation between Mr Valteris and two gardaí, one of whom was Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce of the Special Detective Unit.

Det Sgt Boyce accepted under cross examination by Hugh Hartnett SC that he was one of the two gardaí on the tape, which was made by Mr Valteris during an encounter he had with them after his initial arrest.

During the playing of the audio in court, the gardaí were heard telling Mr Valteris that “we’ll look after you” if he accepted responsibility for three other firearms and four silencers. The gardaí told him they knew the items were a “batch of four”.

The gardaí told Mr Valteris that his wife had been in a particular premises removing rubbish for about 30 minutes.

Mr Valteris was told that if he did not accept responsibility for the other items then the gardaí were would be “directed” to arrest his wife.

“If you don’t take responsibility, she’ll be next”.

Mr Valteris was told by the gardaí that if his partner was arrested then their child would “go into care”.

He was told that he was “digging a hole to put your missus” in if he wanted “to go down that route”.

The gardaí told Mr Valteris that they knew he was “bullshitting”, that they would “have to go to your house now and arrest your partner … She’ll be in custody”.

The gardaí were heard asking Mr Valteris: “Have we a deal or no deal … If we don’t (have a deal) I’m going to have to arrest your partner”.

The complete tape was not played in court on Thursday. The Director of Public Prosecutions entered a nolle prosequi – a decision not to proceed on the charge – before the playing of the tape could be resumed in court today.

On the fourth day of the trial, prosecuting counsel Mr Tony McGillicuddy BL told the three-judge court that the State was entering a “nolle prosequi” on the charge – in other words not proceeding with the prosecution – and Mr Valteris could be discharged.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding, ordered that Valteris should be discharged.

Mr Valteris, with an address at Park Vale, Grange Rath, Drogheda, Co Meath, had pleaded not guilty to the unlawful possession of a .32 inch auto (7.65mm) calibre IZH 79-8 model Baikal make semi-automatic pistol bearing serial number TPB358706 at Balmoral Industrial Estate, Navan, Co. Meath on June 10th, 2013.

The court had heard that Mr Valteris operated a car sales depot at the Balmoral Industrial Estate. It was the prosecution case that he was observed by gardai arriving at the depot on the afternoon of June 10th, 2013.

The court would hear evidence that Mr Valteris was seen going to an nearby yard where a red Fiat Ducato van was parked. A black VW Passat car came back to the yard and stopped close to where Mr Valteris was standing. A man was observed opening the boot of the Passat and then the car left the yard.

The VW Passat was later stopped by gardai in Castlebellingham, Co Louth and a semi-automatic pistol was found wrapped in material in a box in the boot.

During a later search of Mr Valteris’s yard €2,000 was found in another car. The prosecution alleged that Valteris had been storing the gun.

with many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News.

Liam Campbell cannot get a fair trial in Lithuania

Stop the extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuaina

Liam Campbell, an alleged Real IRA leader, will argue that he cannot receive a fair trial in Lithuania because his brother’s terrorism conviction was found to have been based on entrapment.

Campbell, 54, of Upper Faughart in north Louth, who was found liable for the 1998 Omagh bomb in a civil action eight years ago, appeared in the High Court in Dublin yesterday to contest his extradition to Lithuania, where he is accused of a Real IRA plot to buy large quantities of explosives and weapons.

Brian Gageby, his barrister, told the court that he wanted an adjournment while he sought an English translation of Michael Campbell’s trial and appeal in Vilnius. Mr Gageby is preparing to argue that Liam Campbell cannot receive a fair trial, which is required under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Campbell’s brother was convicted in Lithuania in 2011 of conspiracy to buy weapons and explosives, following a joint MI5-Lithuanian police operation. Michael Campbell was jailed for twelve years but his conviction was overturned on appeal in 2013 on the grounds that he was entrapped by MI5. Liam Campbell is now seeking a transcript of that appeal to use in his case.

Since Michael Campbell returned to Ireland the highest court in Lithuania overturned the appeal, finding that the appeal court erred in putting too much weight on entrapment defence. As a result Michael Campbell may also be extradited back to Lithuania.

Judge Aileen Donnelly agreed to adjourn Liam Campbell’s case for a month yesterday to allow the state and the defence to prepare documents.

Campbell is receiving free legal aid to fight extradition, claiming that he will not get a fair trial and also that prison conditions in Lithuania are so bad that they violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The article prohibits extradition if there is a “substantial risk” that the person will undergo inhumane or degrading treatment.

He won on Article 3 grounds when Lithuania sought to extradite him from Northern Ireland, after which he was released by the High Court in Belfast and was rearrested in the Republic. Campbell’s co-accused, Brendan McGuigan, 36, of Omeath, Co Louth, was previously released by the High Court in Dublin, also because prison conditions in Lithuania would be a violation of his rights under Article 3.

Both men are wanted in Lithuania for allegedly organising a Real IRA explosives and weapons importation scheme. A Lithuanian arrest warrant read in court states that Campbell “made arrangements for illegal possession of a considerable amount of powerful firearms, ammunition, explosive devices and substances” to be exported from Lithuania to Ireland for use by a “terrorist grouping”.

The cargo was allegedly to include sniper rifles, rocket launchers, RPG-7 rockets, hand-grenades and Semtex explosives.

Campbell was allegedly a senior Real IRA member when the offences were committed in late 2006 and early 2007 and is alleged to have met with a British intelligence officer posing as an east European arms dealer.

with many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News.