Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch fighting to have Regency Hotel murder trial heard before a jury
3rd November 2021
Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch is fighting to have his Regency Hotel murder trial heard before a jury, it emerged today.
The 58-year-old is charged with killing Kinahan associate David Byrne at the north Dublin landmark on February 5, 2016.
The trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court next October and three months have been set aside for the proceedings.
And if, as expected, it lasts the full 12 weeks, it will make it one of the longest running cases in Irish history.
Hutch is locked up on remand in Dublin’s Wheatfield Prison and he was visited by his legal team on Tuesday.
It’s understood they discussed the case against him before the Special Criminal Court.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided after Hutch was charged here that a non-jury trial was necessary.
And it emerged that the father of two has launched judicial review proceedings to stop him from being tried before the non-jury court.
It is understood Hutch – who has grown a beard and long hair – will insist he has a constitutional right for a judge and jury to hear his trial.© Mick O’Neill Gerry Hutch arriving back in Ireland
The Monk is expected to argue that the Special Criminal Court was only established five decades ago to administer justice to paramilitaries and it is no longer necessary.
The non-jury court has been used more regularly during the past 10 years as courts in this country dealt with trials such as the Hutch-Kinahan feud, which claimed 18 lives and the Limerick gang war.
Dublin legal firm Ferrys Solicitors are representing Hutch and they will bring an application to challenge the ruling to hold the trial in the Special Criminal Court in the High Court next Monday.
The defendants are listed as the DPP, the Justice Minister, Ireland, the Dáíl, the Seanad and the Attorney General.
It is understood Hutch will claim that the Dail and Government has failed to ratify and pass specific legislation in relation to the use of non-jury trials.
It’s believed the accused will argue that instead the State just decided to renew emergency measures that were initially introduced almost 50 years ago in 1972.
It is believed he will argue that very specific legislation has existed in the North for 14 years to deal with non-jury trials.
Hutch is expected to point to numerous safeguards for accused persons in that jurisdiction and the rules surrounding when a non-jury trial can be approved and allowed.
A similar case is also being separately taken by by former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who has also been charged with the murder of Kinahan associate Byrne, 33.
It is expected the application on Monday will lead to a hearing for both Hutch and Dowdall in January where a final decision will be taken on where both trials will be heard.