Collapse of manslaughter trial over Jaber concerns

A manslaughter trial has been abandoned in the latest case to collapse over concerns about evidence by former deputy State pathologist, Dr Khalid Jaber.

Kevin Bruce walked free from court after hearing the DPP was dropping the prosecution against him.

It is the third homicide case known to have run aground because of issues surrounding Dr Jaber’s work. Sources say up to 10 more cases may collapse.

Mr Bruce was charged with the manslaughter of Anthony Barrett, who was found dead in a house in Kilkenny City in March 2013.

His case was called at Kilkenny Circuit Criminal Court yesterday but Judge Brian O’Callaghan was told the DPP was entering a nolle prosequi.

Mr Bruce began judicial review proceedings in 2015, challenging Dr Jaber’s postmortem on the deceased.

Concerns about Dr Jaber’s work were first raised in 2013 by his former boss State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy and led to the abandonment of the trial that year of Wexford man Michael Furlong, who had been charged with murdering Patrick Connors in Enniscorthy in 2011.

Last December, the Court of Appeal ordered the retrial of Colm Deely, whose conviction for the 2011 murder of Deirdre McCarthy in Clare was overturned after objections were raised to Dr Jaber’s evidence.

It emerged last month that Dr Cassidy has been carrying out a review of all of Dr Jaber’s postmortems from 2012 and 2013.

Dr Jaber became deputy State pathologist in 2009 but quit in 2013 and has since returned to Saudi Arabia.

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