Security procedures for State’s witness

Sharif Kelly: One of three men accused of the murder of Peter Butterly.

Security arrangements are being made for a former murderer accused turned prosecution witness to give evidence in the Special Criminal Court trial of three men charged with murdering dissident republican Peter Butterly.

Dean Evans, aged 24, of Grange Park Rise, Raheny; Edward McGrath, aged 33, of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght; and Sharif Kelly, aged 44, of Pinewood Green Rd, Balbriggan, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Peter Butterly, aged 35, who was shot dead in the carpark of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath on March 6, 2013.

Mr Evans and Mr McGrath have also pleaded not guilty to firearm offences.

A fourth man, David Cullen, aged 30, with a last address in Balbriggan, was allegedly “part of the murder plan himself” but turned State’s witness against his former co-accused earlier this year.

Counsel for the DPP, Alex Owens SC, told the non-jury court that the prosecution intended to call Mr Cullen first thing on Tuesday morning, the date on which the trial resumes.

Mr Owens said the prosecution wanted to notify the court of its definite intention to call Mr Cullen because security arrangements had to be put in place by gardaí and the Prison Service.

Earlier, the last garda witness from the National Surveillance Unit to give secret evidence in the trial exited the building through the custody area to avoid any identification by members of the public.

The court has directed that none of the evidence of the NSU members or their identities can be made public.


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