Special Criminal Court trial for accused of conspiring to murder friend of Hutch family

An Estonian man charged with conspiracy to murder a friend of the Hutch family is to face a non-jury trial in the Special Criminal Court.

Imre Arakas was served with a book of evidence today.

Gardai from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau raided a premises in west Dublin on the morning of April 4 last, as part of an investigation into the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

Imre Arakas Imre Arakas arriving at the Dublin District Court, Criminal Courts of Justice in a reviosu court appearance in April. Pic Collins Courts

Imre Arakas, 58, with an address at Sopruse, Tallinn, Estonia, was charged on April 6 last and was then remanded in custody.

He is accused of conspiring with others not before the courts to murder James Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3 and April 4. The offence is under Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Dressed in a green jacket, blue jeans and runners, he faced his 14th hearing when he appeared before Judge Victor Blake at Cloverhill District Court.

Judge Victor Blake was told the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed trial on indictment. The DPP had also been granted a certificate under Section 42.2 of the Offences Against the State Act to direct that Mr Arakas was to be sent forward for trial at a sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

A State solicitor said that it was the DPP’s view that in this case, “the ordinary courts are not effective for the administration of justice”.

A book of evidence was served on the accused in court by Det Garda Alan Monaghan.

Judge Blake warned Mr Arakas that if he intended to use an alibi in his defence he must inform the prosecution within 14 days.

Mr Arakas quietly replied, “Yes” when asked if he understood.

The district court had heard earlier that he was was unemployed and unable to pay for a lawyer.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier applied for legal aid and told the court there had been no change is his client’s circumstances. He asked for it to include representation of junior and senior counsel in the trial.

Judge Blake noted there was no objection by the State and he acceded to Mr Collier’s request.

He also made an order for disclosure of video evidence to the defence.

Mr Arakas, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, was sent forward for trial in custody and has yet to be assigned a date for his appearance in the Special Criminal Court.

At his first hearing, on April 6, a court was told “he made no reply to the charge” and due to the nature of the charge a bail application could only be made in the High Court.

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