DPP moves to block Meehan appeal
The Director of Public Prosecutions is seeking to prevent Brian Meehan proceeding with his bid to have his conviction for the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin declared a miscarriage of justice.
The DPP has brought a preliminary application to the Court of Criminal Appeal, listed for Monday, to strike out Meehan's proceedings on grounds there are no new or "newly discovered" facts justifying allowing it proceed and it is "an abuse of process".
Meehan, formerly with an address in Crumlin, Dublin, but jailed in Portlaoise Prison, says he has always protested his innocence of the murder of Ms Guerin and there are substantial grounds for his proceedings.
He contends he is entitled to a full hearing before a three judge CCA of his application under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993. He contends "new facts" emanating from material disclosed for the 2001 trial of John Gilligan show Meehan's 1999 conviction was a miscarriage of justice. Gilligan was convicted on drugs charges and remains in prison.
Meehan alleges the material undermines the evidence of protected witness Russell Warren which was central to the Special Criminal Court's decision to convict him. He also claims new evidence shows the trial court incorrectly assessed the level of phone contact between Warren and a phone registered to Meehan on June 26th 1996, the day of the murder.
If certain material was provided to his lawyers for his trial, as gardai are insisting it was, he could not understand why it was not acted upon, he said. His former lawyers may not have realised the signficance of it, he added.
He also wants orders requiring the DPP to disclose material related to what he claims is a continuing Garda investigation into the murder of Ms Guerin.
Meehan is serving a life sentence after being convicted of the murder in July 1999 following a 31 day trial before the non-jury Special Criminal Court. He was also jailed on drugs and firearms charges.