Jonathan Dowdall’s ‘witness statement’ to Hutch trial is leaked on social media
Material from the witness statement made by Jonathan Dowdall about the Regency Hotel murder has been leaked online.
Independent.ie has learned that several pages of documentation, appearing to be from his statement of evidence in the case, have been shared on a social media messaging app in recent days.
Images have been circulated of five pages from the six-page document in which the ex-Sinn Féin councillor made several allegations in relation to events linked to the Regency Hotel shooting in February 2016.
Gardaí are aware of the matter, with one source describing it as “concerning” that such material was being widely shared.
The high-profile trial of murder accused Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch (59) and two co-defendants is continuing amid an ongoing security operation at the Criminal Courts of Justice.
While certain details within the statement being circulated have been referenced in the opening speech by the prosecution, a lot of information and details have not.
Notes made on Dowdall’s evidence were also previously shared online, although the images circulating in recent days purport to be directly from the actual statement given by him.
He spoke to gardaí on a number of occasions before making a formal statement, which was then given to the prosecution and later disclosed to the defence.
When contacted, Garda Headquarters said that an investigation was not being carried out at this time into the online leak.
- The statement was made a month ago to investigating gardaí with Dowdall now being considered for the Witness Security Programme (WSP). He remains at severe risk after it emerged he was willing to become a witness for the prosecution and was taken into protective garda custody.
Dowdall was originally charged with the murder of Kinahan associate David Byrne but last month pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of facilitating the murder by making a hotel room available to the criminal organisation involved. He was given a four-year sentence for his role while a nolle prosequi was entered on the murder charge.
Dowdall’s father Patrick (65) was jailed for two years for facilitating the murder by also making a room available at the Regency Hotel.
Both men are expected to begin their sentences next week after being granted a two-week deferral on the execution of the warrants so that they could get their affairs in order.
After the disclosure of Jonathan Dowdall’s statement, the trial was postponed for a number of days but opened on Tuesday of last week before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.
The court has already been told there will be evidence of alleged discussions between Jonathan Dowdall and Gerry Hutch, who denies the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Whitehall, north Dublin, on February 5, 2016.
The three judges were told that the accused contacted Jonathan Dowdall after a photograph of two hotel gunmen – one in a wig and one in a flatcap – was published in the Sunday World.
It would be alleged they met in a park in Whitehall. The prosecution said that during discussions, a “worked-up and edgy” Gerry Hutch said “they had carried out the murder” and that “he had been one of the team that shot David Byrne in the Regency”.
Dowdall was further asked to arrange a meeting with republicans because of an escalation in threats to the accused’s friends and family, the court heard.
Two co-accused, Paul Murphy (59), of Swords, and Jason Bonney (50), of Portmarnock, deny facilitating the murder by making vehicles available to the gang involved.