Christy Kinahan may not have to attend fake passport trial
October 15 2020 07:15 AM
CRIME godfather Christy Kinahan may not have to attend his Spanish passport fraud trial.
State prosecutors have yet to submit their indictment after the 63-year-old ‘Dapper Don’ was told by a Spanish judge he faced trial for allegedly using a falsified travel document.
The gangster had been told he was not being charged with criminal association and money laundering after a Spanish court found there was insufficient evidence.
Kinahan has been warned he faces a maximum of three years in prison under Spanish law if convicted.
However, the six months he spent behind bars on remand after his arrest in May 2010 under Operation Shovel will be taken into consideration.
The Dubliner is one of only five of the original 31 Shovel detainees facing charges after his sons, Daniel and Christopher, and Guinness kidnapper John Cunningham were told they would not be tried for money laundering and criminal association.
It emerged yesterday that if prosecutors end up seeking a prison sentence of less than two years for Kinahan ahead of his trial, the convicted drug dealer could remain at his Middle East bolthole and be excused having to show his face in a Malaga courtroom.
“In Spain, a person who prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of less than two years for, if convicted, does not have to appear at trial as long as they receive their trial summons,” a well-placed legal source said.
Prosecutors have yet to receive a court request to formulate their charge and have said nothing publicly about the sentence they will seek.
It had been thought the case would reach trial some time next year, but chief prosecutor Julio Martinez Carazo, who on Tuesday spoke of his “disappointment” over the matter, predicted yesterday it could be two years away.
Asked about speculation that Kinahan’s lawyers could seek a plea bargain deal ahead of trial, Mr Carazo said: “Plea bargain deals are very normal. They save the state money and time.”
Kinahan and two other men, Robert Edward Phillips and James Gregory Naughton, face trial for passport fraud.
Jasvinder Singh Kamoo, who is said by police investigators to have played a key money laundering role, faces trial for using fake car number plates.
A fifth man, Dublin mobster Ross Gerard Browning, is facing trial for unlawful possession of a weapon.