No obligation to give reason for non-jury trial in Thomas “Slab” Murphy case, says DPP

Murphy is being prosecuted on nine charges of failing to furnish tax returns for the years from 1996/1997 to 2004

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy:  challenge to the decision directing the tax charges be tried by the non-jury Special Criminal Court rather than the ordinary courts. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy: challenge to the decision directing the tax charges be tried by the non-jury Special Criminal Court rather than the ordinary courts. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 23:02

The Director of Public Prosecutions has argued before the Supreme Court that there is no obligation to give reasons for the decision to sanction a non-jury trial for a Co Louth man, Thomas “Slab” Murphy, on tax charges.

The DPP had certified, while these were ordinary tax offences, a non-jury trial of “this particular accused” was necessary, the five-judge court was told by Brendan Grehan SC, for the DPP yesterday.

He was opposing Mr Murphy’s challenge to the decision directing the tax charges be tried by the non-jury Special Criminal Court rather than the ordinary courts.

Mr Murphy (60), Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, is being prosecuted on nine charges of failing to furnish tax returns for the years from 1996/1997 to 2004.

The charges, which the State accepts are non-scheduled indictable offences, were brought in November 2007 following an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

In the High Court in November 2011, Mr Justice Daniel Herbert ruled Mr Murphy did not have the necessary legal standing to bring the challenge but the Supreme Court overturned that finding, saying he manifestly had the necessary standing.

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