Garda allegedly shredded witness statement in murder inquiry
Gsoc investigating claims following formal complaint by victim’s family
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 21:00 Updated: Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 21:22
The garda at the centre of the allegations, who was not directly involved in the murder investigation, has not been suspended, and the claims against the individual remain unproven. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins
An internal Garda investigation is progressing into claims that a garda shredded a key witness statement in a murder investigation and perverted the course of justice.
Claims, which are being investigated by Garda Headquarters, have been heard that the garda destroyed the witness statement in a bid to protect an informant.
An internal Garda disciplinary inquiry has already found against the garda, though the individual is appealing the inquiry’s findings, The Irish Times understands. A second disciplinary inquiry in the same case is still ongoing.
The garda at the centre of the allegations, who was not directly involved in the murder investigation, has not been suspended, and the claims against the individual remain unproven.
The victim’s family has made a formal complaint to Gsoc. Replying, Gsoc said their complaint is admissible under Section 87 of the 2005 GSOC Act and it had decided that it should criminally investigated.
An investigating officer with Gsoc has been assigned to the case. The victim’s family have also written to the Garda Commissioner. A Garda spokesman said: “An Garda Síochána does not comment on operational decisions, or on internal disciplinary matters.”
In response to further questions, a spokesman replied: “An investigation into alleged corruption or wrongdoing is continuing.”
The investigation is being led by an Assistant Commissioner, involving Special Crime Operations (SCO); the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI); and the Garda National Drugs & Organised Bureau (GNDOCB).
A murder investigation is “live and ongoing”.
The victim’s family said they were “stunned” at the allegations, and were “happy” the claims were being investigated and that the original murder file is being reviewed.