Update 4.35pm: The prosecution has now called all its evidence in the trial of six men accused of falsely imprisoning the former Tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser.
Most of the court’s time today was taken up by legal argument in the absence of the jury that led to the so-called Jobstown Seven becoming the Jobstown Six with the DPP’s decision not to pursue its case against one of the accused.
Like the others, Ken Purcell of Kiltalown Green in Tallaght was facing two charges of false imprisonment arising from a water charge protest in Jobstown that coincided with Joan Burton’s attendance at a graduation ceremony in Nov 2014.
It is the prosecution’s case that the liberty of the then Tánaiste and her adviser Karen O’Connell was restricted when protesters blocked various Garda vehicles they were in.
The prosecuting barrister Sean Gillane told the jurors this afternoon that the case against Mr. Purcell would not proceed any further and Judge Melanie Greally then told him he was free to go.
The trial will enter its closing stages without him when it resumes later this week.
Earlier:The charges have been dropped against one of seven men on trial for the alleged false imprisonment of former Tánaiste Joan Burton.
Ken Purcell of Kiltalown Green in Tallaght in Dublin was also accused of falsely imprisoning her adviser during a protest in Dublin.
There was applause in court when Judge Melanie Greally told Ken Purcell he was to be discharged from the indictment and is free to go.
He shook hands with the six men left in the dock and embraced his wife before leaving the courtroom.
His lawyers followed suit a few minutes later.
The DPP’s decision not to pursue the charges against him arose following some legal argument in the absence of the jury.
The six others, including Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and two Solidarity Councillors, are still on trial.
They’re accused of falsely imprisoning Joan Burton during a water charge protest in Jobstown when she was Tánaiste in November 2014.
They’re also facing the same charge in relation to her adviser Karen O’Connell – both of whom gave evidence in the early stages of the trial.
The prosecution has now called all its evidence and the trial will enter its closing stages when it resumes later this week.