Legal aid has been refused for six individuals allegedly linked to the Kinahan crime gang in cases involving the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
CAB had previously secured court orders freezing assets it says are the proceeds of crime including jewellery, motorbikes, property and cars following raids conducted as part of its investigation into the Kinahan gang at various locations in March 2016.
Arising out of those seizures CAB has brought proceedings against 11 people, including Liam Byrne who the bureau says is a member of the Kinahan gang.
Byrne’s brother David was shot dead in the Regency Hotel in February 2016.
In a pre-hearing motion lawyers representing six of the 11 individuals applied to the High Court to have their costs of hiring lawyers to act for them in the action paid for under the legal aid scheme.
The applications, which were made on behalf of Kelly Quinn, Sean McGovern, Anita Freeman, James Byrne, Sadie Byrne, and Liam Roe who denied the assets are the proceeds of crime, were opposed by CAB.
Yesterday, Ms Justice Stewart dismissed all six applications for legal aid
on grounds including that no exceptional circumstances existed to allow the court grant any of the applicants legal aid.
The court said evidence tendered by CAB about the applicant’s lifestyles, including that some of the parties had taken multiple flights to destinations including Spain, Dubai and Los Vegas or how other assets, were acquired had not been addressed by the applicants in their submissions to the court.
None of the parties seeking legal aid were present in court for the ruling and have claimed they cannot afford to pay lawyers to represent them in what will be a lengthy and complex case.
Mr McGovern says he has no other assets aside from the property and the couple and their two young children are living off allowances from the State plus a redundancy payment his partner received in 2016.
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