Regency murder trial delayed as Hutch lawyer seeks documents

Disclosure of thousands of emails between four gardaí at centre of investigation sought

Patrick Hutch: charged with murder

Patrick Hutch: charged with murder

 

The barrister defending Patrick Hutch has asked for disclosure of emails between four gardai involved in the investigation into the death of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.

The request has delayed Mr Hutch’s trial for muder until next Tuesday because the prosecution said the relevant emails number in the thousands and will have to be downloaded and printed.

Defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC said the request for the emails arises due to statements that he called a “blatant and obvious cog”.

He said statements were made in which matters were omitted and then new statements made that “hit every single note on the scale”.

Sean Gillane SC, for the prosecution, explained to the three-judge court that the defence has asked for disclosure of email communications between four gardai. He said a difficulty arose because a computer search generated thousands of emails.

“It would be simply unmanageable in the time frame of a trial.”

He said the defence had since narrowed the scope to something more manageable, but still numbering in the thousands.

Voicing his frustration, Mr Justice Tony Hunt adjourned the trial until Tuesday saying he expects the trial to continue on that day. He also asked for a progress report on Friday morning.

Patrick Hutch, (25) of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, is pleading not guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to the murder of Mr Byrne (34) at the Regency Hotel in Dublin on February 5th, 2016.

Mr Hutch also denies possessing three AK47 assault rifles in connection with the shooting.

The shooting took place during a boxing weigh-in at the hotel, the court has heard, when a man dressed as a woman and another wearing a flat cap, armed with handguns, followed by three people dressed in tactical-style garda uniforms and carrying assault rifles, raided the venue.

It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Hutch was the man dressed as a woman and that he did not shoot Mr Byrne but was part of a “shared intention” to commit the offence.