Case against Gerry Hutch to depend on CCTV, phone evidence

Dubliner (58) certain to strongly deny any links to 2016 Regency Hotel gun attack

Gerry Hutch is likely to face trial based on technical evidence gathered by gardaí investigating the 2016 attack on the Regency Hotel in Dublin if he is extradited to Ireland. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Gerry Hutch is likely to face trial based on technical evidence gathered by gardaí investigating the 2016 attack on the Regency Hotel in Dublin if he is extradited to Ireland. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

Gerry Hutch is likely to face trial based on technical evidence gathered by gardaí investigating the 2016 attack on the Regency Hotel in Dublin if he is extradited to Ireland.

The Irish Times understands the evidence that the State alleges incriminates Mr Hutch will include phone records and CCTV images.

Gardaí also covertly gathered other technical evidence in the days after the attack on a boxing tournament weigh-in at the hotel that left one man dead and several others wounded.

The case is set to involve the technical evidence being pieced together in an effort to link Mr Hutch to planning and supporting the attack, though he is certain to strongly deny any involvement.

The 58-year-old left Ireland 5½ years ago as the Kinahan-Hutch feud erupted in Dublin, and gardaí believe he has spent most of his time since then in Spain.

He was arrested in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol on Thursday on foot of a European arrest warrant granted by the courts in Dublin earlier this year. That warrant was approved after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided that Mr Hutch should face charges relating to the Regency attack, in which Kinahan associate David Byrne (34), from Crumlin, was killed.

While gardaí have wanted to question Mr Hutch ever since the Regency attack, suspects or witnesses cannot be extradited just to be questioned. The extradition process can only be availed of in cases where charges are awaiting a suspect, as is the case with Mr Hutch, or if a person has skipped bail or are wanted to serve a prison sentence having already been convicted.

Nothing proven

Nothing has been proven against Mr Hutch and the charges awaiting him are only allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

Mr Hutch, who is from Dublin’s north inner city but had lived with his family for many years in Clontarf, was traced to Fuengirola in recent months.

He was under close surveillance earlier this year with a view to his arrest taking place then. However, he was not detained at that time and it appears he then left the area in what gardaí believe was an effort to evade capture.

More recently, he returned to Fuengirola, where he was being monitored by police. This week saw the level of surveillance on him increase and culminated in his arrest on Thursday in Fuengirola. He was detained by armed officers from El Equipo de Huidos de la Unidad Central Operativa (UCO) – the “escape team of the central operative unit” – of the Guardia Civil close to a property where he had been staying.

He is likely to be held in prison in Madrid until he is extradited back to the State to face the charges already approved by the DPP. However, he can fight the extradition process and is expected to do so, which would mean it might take several months to return him to Ireland.

Hopeful

However, Garda sources said they were hopeful he would be brought back to the State before the end of the year, meaning a trial could take place next year.

His nephew, Gary Hutch, became a member of the Kinahan drug dealing cartel before falling out with its leadership in 2015.

He then tried to shoot dead Daniel Kinahan, the man named by the Criminal Assets Bureau in the High Court as the cartel’s leader, but botched the attempt in Spain six years ago. He was himself shot dead, aged 34, in Miraflores near Fuengirola in September 2015.

The attack at the Regency Hotel almost six months later, in which Kinahan was the prime target, was regarded as revenge for Gary Hutch’s murder.

Once that attack occurred, the Kinahan-Hutch feud erupted. It has claimed 18 lives to date, though there have been no related killings for almost three years.