Retired High Court judge John Cooke has turned down a request to appear before Oireachtas committees regarding his investigation into the alleged bugging of the Garda Ombudsman.
Justice Cooke was asked to address a combined session of the Oireachtas Public Services Oversight and Petitions Committee and the Justice Committee. The two committees came together in response to the publication of the Cooke Report.
The Irish Examiner understands the judge cited a number of reasons. Mr Cooke is thought to refer to the non-statutory nature of his review, pointing out that people who spoke to him did so in a voluntary capacity and were not covered by legal privilege. The committees are thought to be unlikely to make any criticism of the judge for not attending, but may issue a public statement.
There were a number of issues raised following the publication of the report, not least the various incidents of suspected physical surveillance of GSOC — and possibly of British security firm Verrimus.
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