€10m heroin man gets Belgian documents

Documents sought from the Belgian justice authorities by a Meath aviation broker accused of attempting to import heroin valued at €10m have been received, a court has been told.

John Kinsella (aged 38), from Carenwood, Johnstown, Navan is awaiting trail for conspiracy to import 50kg of the drug which was found in the luggage of a passenger who tried to board an Irish private jet at a southern Belgium airport on September 26, 2006.

The jet had flown to Wevelgem, Belgium from Weston Airport in Kildare and was due to return that day. Four others, including the two pilots, were arrested in Belgium and Holland. One of the pilots was later released.

Mr Kinsella has pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy charge and is due for trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court next year.

A request for the documentation with information on Mr Kinsella’s alleged co-conspirators was made at a hearing last July by his defence counsel, Mr Donal McGuinness BL, and a letter drafted by Judge Tony Hunt was sent to the Belgian authorities seeking the disclosure.

Mr McGuinness and prosecuting counsel, Mr Dominic McGinn BL, agreed on the wording of the request which Judge Hunt said would be sent via the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

Judge Hunt said the disclosure had not been received by the court. He noted the documents were not in English and would have to be translated.

Judge Hunt had also ruled previously that communication between gardaí and the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding Mr Kinsella was not relevant to the case and should not be disclosed to the defence.

Mr McGuinness had also requested that 25 text messages sent and received by his client and intercepted by gardaí during the investigation should be made available to the defence but Mr McGinn replied that the messages no longer existed and must have been deleted.

The High Court had previously refused a request for the extradition of Mr Kinsella on the grounds that because he faces similar charges here he cannot be handed over to the Belgian courts. This is despite Mr Kinsella indicating he would not object to extradition.


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