Mackin retrial set for January

Mackin retrial set for January

The Special Criminal Court has fixed a date next January for the retrial of Belfast man Gerard Mackin for the murder of a taxi driver in Belfast in 2007.

Mackin's 2008 conviction for murder was quashed by the Court of Criminal Appeal last week and a retrial was ordered. He was the first person convicted in a Dublin court for an alleged murder in Belfast under a cross-border anti-terrorist law.

Today, the Special Criminal Court fixed January 11 next year for Mackin's retrial.

Mackin's conviction was quashed after the appeal court ruled that crucial prosecution evidence had not been properly proven during his original trial.

Gerard Mackin was found guilty in November 2008 of the murder of Mr Edward Burns, a taxi driver and 36-year-old father of five, of Prospect Park, Belfast, at Bog Meadow, Falls Road, Belfast on March 12, 2007.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Mr Damien O' Neill, the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and causing serious harm to Mr O' Neill on the same date.

He was jailed for life for the murder, 15 years for the attempted murder of Mr O' Neill, 10 years for the possession of a revolver with intent to endanger life and 12 years for intentionally causing serious harm to Mr O' Neill.

The court ordered all the sentences to run concurrently.

Mackin (aged 28), a native of the Whiterock area of west Belfast, with an address at Raheen Close, Tallaght, Dublin opted for trial in the Republic under the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act of 1976 which allows suspects to be tried in the Republic for alleged offences in Britain or the North.

The law has only been used on three other occasions since it was introduced.


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