Defence to see documents as garda murder trial is adjourned

 

The trial of a Belfast man charged with the capital murder of a garda 18 years ago was further adjourned at the Special Criminal Court yesterday to allow defence lawyers to see documents relating to a failed attempt to extradite the defendant from France.

Mr Sean Hughes (42), of Albert Terrace, Belfast, is charged with the capital murder of Garda Patrick Reynolds in Tallaght, Co Dublin, on February 20th, 1982. Mr Hughes is also charged with robbery in Askeaton, Co Limerick, on February 18th, 1982, and with having firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life in Tallaght on February 20th, 1982.

The court heard yesterday that gardai travelled to Paris and took part in an informal identification procedure at the Gare St Lazare on November 6th, 1982.

A letter from Det Chief Supt Dermot Jennings to the French embassy in London said that Mr Hughes was one of the suspects in the murder of Garda Reynolds and he had fled to Paris.

Mr Paul McDermott SC, defending, applied for an adjournment to allow for the further disclosure of documents to the defence. He said the defence had not been furnished with any material by the Garda relating to the surveillance operation in Paris. and that there had not been full disclosure to the defence.

Mr Justice Morris, presiding, said the court expected that the documents relating to the extradition attempt would be made available to the defence this morning and the court then hoped to begin hearing the trial.