May Date For 'Slab' Trial

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, a well-known, prominent republican, is set to stand trial on charges connected with alleged revenue offences in May, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

Mr Murphy (aged 58), from Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, is being prosecuted on foot of an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

The charges allege that he failed to furnish a return of his income, profits or gains to the Collector General or the Inspector of Taxes for the years 1996/97 to 2004.

Mr Justice Paul Butler said that the earliest date available for trial would be late May or early June and that the case will be mentioned again in April.

This was after Paul Tiernan, solicitor representing Mr Murphy, asked that the court delay the setting of a date for trial so that he could receive a transcript of the last day’s hearing.

Last month, the Special Criminal Court ruled that Mr Murphy was lawfully returned there for trial.

Defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC had challenged the validity of the document returning Mr Murphy for trial to the court.

The Special Criminal Court normally deals with terrorist-related offences. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions has the discretion in any case to certify that ordinary courts are inadequate to deal with it and to send it for trial to the three-judge non-jury court.

Mr Murphy was remanded on continuing bail until April when the case will be mentioned again.


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