A man arrested in a Dublin apartment that is believed by gardaí to be linked to the "Kinahan Organised Crime gang" has brought a High Court challenge to the legality of his detention following a refusal of bail.
Naoufal Fassih (35), a Dutch national originally from Morocco, was arrested on April 7th as part of a Garda investigation into organised crime.
He was arrested at an apartment on Lower Baggot Street, where a number of valuable watches were also seized, and brought before Dublin District Court the next day.
He gave a different name on his arrest, the court was told.
He is charged with having two false instruments, a Belgian national identity card and the Dutch passport, both bearing different names, with associated offences under the Immigration Act and with possession of a small amount of cannabis.
After gardaí objected to bail, there were a number of District Court hearings during which his identity was established as Nasoufal Fassih. He was ultimately remanded in custody on April 15th to Cloverhill Prison.
His lawyers then initiated proceedings seeking an inquiry, under Article 40 of the Constitution, into the legality of his detention arising from how the District Court refused bail.
The application was heard on Thursday and Mr Justice Seamus Noonan will rule on it on Friday.
Moving the application, Coleman Fitzgerald SC argued that counsel for his client was not given a proper opportunity at the District Court to make a case for bail.
Whether or not a bail application had begun, and he accepted it had for purposes of this application, his argument was it had not concluded, counsel said.
Gráinne O’ Neill, for the DPP, argued there was no error on the face of the detention warrant and the Article 40 procedure was not appropriate.
The District Court had jurisdiction to hear a bail application and, while it may not have been a “perfect” hearing, it had heard it, counsel said.
The transcript of the District Court hearings indicated it heard gardaí believed the "property" where the applicant was arrested was linked to the Kinahan Organised Crime gang, rather than the applicant was linked to that group, she said.
The District judge refused to take a Garda document about such matters and stopped the garda when he read a number of sentences from it, she said.
No ties here
The applicant's arrest was part of an investigation into organised crime, he was only in Ireland two days at the time, had no ties here and on his arrest was going by a name that was false, counsel said.
Cash and valuables - a number of watches - were found in "plain sight" in the apartment.
The Garda argument that the applicant posed a flight risk was reasonable, Ms O’ Neill said.
The applicant contends his life is in danger and he can make those and other arguments during a fresh bail application on Friday, counsel said. He was always entitled to make a fresh bail application, she added.
Mr Fitzgerald said if the prosecution was now contending there was no link with the Kinahan group, there should have been no attempt to introduce certain material in the District Court. The transcripts do not bear out criticisms of his side, he added.
Mr Fassih argues that when his counsel objected on April 15th to his being remanded in custody and said he wished to continue the bail application, the District judge told counsel his client initially gave a different name and so he was being refused bail.
Mr Fassih claims he was remanded in custody without his lawyers being given an opportunity to put forward a case for bail. He also alleges he had no opportunity to explain possession of the documents.
The District Court breached the fundamental natural law principle of hearing both sides, it is claimed.