Soldier who denied alcohol offences has her convictions quashed
A soldier who claimed she was wrongly found guilty by her battalion commander of having alcohol in her room while serving with the United Nations in Lebanon has had her convictions quashed.
Pte Emma Kells (31) brought High Court proceedings after being convicted of something she insisted she did not do and being repatriated to Ireland as a result. Her counsel said another member of the Defence Forces admitted storing the alcohol.
Her proceedings were brought against the Minister for Defence, the Director of Military Prosecutions Ireland and the State.
Yesterday, following talks between the sides, Martin Giblin SC for Pte Kells told High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns the matter had been settled on terms including the quashing of the convictions.
Simon Boyle SC, for the State, said they were consenting to the settlement but were not admitting any wrongdoing or liability. No other details of the settlement were revealed.
Mr Justice Kearns welcomed the settlement and welcomed an announcement this week that a solicitor, Michael Campion, has been appointed as the new military judge. Pte Kells had said after being charged she was given the option of a court martial or summary trial before her commanding officer, having been told of the non-existence of a validly appointed military judge.