Adams' lawyers protest denial of access to letter

Adams' lawyers protest denial of access to letter

Lawyers for Liam Adams have been refused access to correspondence which they claim could be relevant to the fight against his extradition to the North for alleged sex abuse charges, it has emerged.

Today the High Court ruled it would not grant an order of discovery sought by Mr Adams (aged 54) for a letter sent by authorities here seeking “further clarification” of certain issues from the Crown Solicitor’s office in Belfast.

Mr Adams, a brother of Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, with an address at Bernagh Avenue in Belfast, is wanted in the North to face multiple charges of rape, indecent assault and gross indecency against his daughter, Aine Tyrell, who has waived her right to anonymity.

He denies all the charges and is contesting the request for his surrender.

Today, Mr Michael O’Higgins SC, for Adams, argued the letter was “reasonably necessary” to the case, as it could “give rise to a suggestion” that the warrant issued for his client “wouldn’t pass mustard” in its present form.

Other correspondence of the same kind has already been made available to Liam Adams’ legal team, and the court heard it was “wholly inconsistent” that a “differing stance” would be taken in respect of a specific letter.

The court was told that when the hearing of the matter goes ahead, counsel for Adams will “attempt to highlight fragilities” in the warrant and this could be “aided” by “concerns voiced” about it by authorities here.

Mr O’Higgins SC also said that the letter potentially “tied into” some of the grounds being raised in the case, including an argument of “lack of specificity”.

Liam Adams was as in court for yesterday’s brief application which was heard at Court 21 at the Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin’s Parkgate Street.

It is claimed the sexual offences occurred at various addresses in Belfast between March 1977 and March 1983 when the alleged victim was aged between four and 10 years. It is alleged some of the offences occurred when Ms Tyrell's mother was out of the family's house.

Mr Adams turned himself into gardaí in Dublin early this year after a European Arrest Warrant was issued by the PSNI.

He has already denied he fled the North a year ago to escape prosecution but claims he feared he and his children were in danger after media reports of the allegations.

Mr Adams also maintains he will not get a fair trial.

Yesterday’s motion for discovery was opposed by the State who claimed the application was “not well founded” and that letter requested was neither “relevant” not “necessary”.

Judge Peart refused the discovery sought, holding that it was not a suitable incidence for the granting of such an order.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday next, when lawyers for Mr Adams will indicate to the court whether their client wishes to appeal the High Court’s refusal.

The court also heard yesterday that an issue would be raised in the case concerning “transcripts of broadcasts” relating to “the controversy”.

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