Morris Tribunal raised warrants issue

The decision yesterday by the Court of Criminal Appeal to quash the convictions of three men accused of a €2.8m Tiger Kidnapping has a legal link to the Donegal Morris Tribunal enquiry.

The decision yesterday by the Court of Criminal Appeal to quash the convictions of three men accused of a €2.8m Tiger Kidnapping has a legal link to the Donegal Morris Tribunal enquiry.

In his report, Justice Fredrick Morris, questioned the legality of search warrants enacted by gardaí.

The issues raised by Justice Fredrick Morris resulted in such warrants being challenged in the Supreme Court which resulted in recent weeks in the convictions against four men being quashed as they were “unconstitutional”.

A legal expert told RTÉ that the initial concern over the warrants was raised via the Morris Tribunal Report.

This week three men convicted of a €2.8m Tiger Kidnapping had their convictions quashed by the court of Criminal Appeal following the Supreme Court ruling. A re-trial is now expected to take place.

In a separate case, another man (Ted Cunningham from Cork, who had a holiday home near Laghey at one stage) convicted of laundering more than €3m in cash from the Northern Bank raid also had his conviction quashed two weeks ago.

The Court of Criminal Appeal held that their convictions “could not stand” and evidence used during their trial was obtained on foot of warrants that the Supreme Court has found to be defective.

Gardaí searched each of their homes under what is known as a Section 29 Warrant.

The Supreme Court, however, found earlier this year that this warrant was unconstitutional and the three men alleged armed robbers were able to rely on that finding.

Three other cases were halted before the Special Criminal Court and 20 other trials could also be affected.

The Department of Justice has said legislation to deal with the issue is being drafted as a priority.