Bailey jury to learn how long case will take

Action against the State has run for nine weeks to date and jury is anxious to know a likely finish date

Bailey jury to learn how long case will take

The jury in the Ian Bailey case in the High Court will today be given an estimation of how long the action is expected to last.

At the close of yesterday’s hearing, the jury foreman observed it was day 34 and week nine of the action against the State, indicating the jury of eight men and four women would like an estimate of duration.

Mr Justice John Hedigan has asked the lawyers on all sides to give an estimate to the court this morning.

A press photographer in evidence yesterday told the High Court he did not discuss with Ian Bailey claims by a former British soldier of being given cannabis by gardai in order to get close to Mr Bailey.

Billy MacGill denied he was “part of the apparatus” of proving the cannabis claims made by Martin Graham.

He had “definitely not” discussed the Graham matters with Mr Bailey prior to taking photos of Mr Graham with cannabis on May 13 1997 and had not worked for either side in this matter.

He took photographs of Mr Graham with a plastic bag containing cannabis after Mr Graham got out of a Garda car in Skibbereen on May 13, 1997, he said.

He was in Skibbereen to check out Mr Graham’s claims he was given cannabis by gardai, Mr MacGill said. He was satisfied there was nothing on Mr Graham after carrying out a full physical search of him, including his underwear, and had also kept him under observation before he got into the garda car.

He denied a suggestion by Luán O Braonáin SC, for the State, that the search and observation was a “charade” to try and ensure the event was “insulated”. He agreed he did not know if Mr Graham had got out of the Garda car at any point before it left him back.

The bag produced by Mr Graham with two white stripes was of the type used as police evidence bags, he agreed. He agreed similar bags are domestically available.

He agreed he has sold to the media several photos of Mr Bailey, including one of him looking “rather lonely”.

His attitude was he was not certain of anything that had happened in relation to the events in west Cork. He would always greet Mr Bailey but did not think it appropriate for him to discuss other events with Mr Bailey.

Earlier, Mr MacGill said Mr Graham had looked for €1,000 and an airline ticket when he contacted the Sunday World with his claims. There was “always a carefulness” in dealing with such stories, he said.

He got the impression Mr Graham was someone who used recreational drugs on a regular basis and was “not wealthy by any means”, he said. Mr Graham had said he received between 3-4 ounces of hash on a regular basis, Mr McGill added.

He met Mr Bailey for the first time on February 6, 1997. Mr Bailey was working as a journalist and they met for the purpose of getting photos of locations, including locations linked to the du Plantier investigation, for use as file photos later if necessary.

Mr Bailey had “hinted” he was a suspect in the murder investigation, he said. He spent about two hours in Mr Bailey’s company and did not think Mr Bailey spoke much about anything.

He agreed he was quoted by the Sunday Times in February 2012 as saying Mr Graham had told Mr Bailey he had been given cannabis by gardai and Mr Graham had offered to prove it.

Counsel suggested that meant Mr Graham had told Mr Bailey about cannabis being given to him before Mr McGill and journalist Ken O’Shea met Mr Graham in May 1997. Mr McGill said he himself had no knowledge of Mr Graham’s claims until May 1997.

He agreed it was possible he and Mr O’Shea may have on May 13, 1997 discussed there being “a Bailey angle” to the Graham story.

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