DPP given fortnight to indicate when book of evidence will be served

The State has two weeks to indicate when a book of evidence against two Dublin men charged with extortion and IRA membership charges will be served.

DPP given fortnight to indicate when book of evidence will be served

The State has two weeks to indicate when a book of evidence against two Dublin men charged with extortion and IRA membership charges will be served.

Derek Palmer (aged 54), of Corduff Green, Blanchardstown, is charged with making an unwarranted demand of one Wayne Whitehouse with menaces, namely that he pay the sum of €50,000 or be killed.

Palmer is also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on July 14 last.

Joe Clarke (aged 40), of Geraldstown Woods, Santry, is charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on July 14 last.

Counsel for Mr Clarke, Mr Tony McGillycuddy BL, told the Special Criminal Court this morning that the matter should be struck out as his client had been in custody since July but the Director of Public Prosecutions had failed to compile a book of evidence in that time.

He said the court must be told what stage the investigation was at and that it was “wholly unsatisfactory” for the State to have indicated last month that a book of evidence was being prepared when in fact a preliminary investigation file had not yet been sent to the DPP.

Detective Garda Enda Gannon told State Solicitor Mr Michael O’Donovan that the DPP had to consider a large amount of material involving numerous accounts and statements as Mr Clarke and Mr Palmer were arrested along with eight others as part of a large garda investigation.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said that both men were entitled to “due dispatch” in the matter and listed it for mention in two weeks, when the State will be required to confirm when the book of evidence will be available.

Mr Justice Butler, sitting with Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge Cormac Dunne, remanded Mr Clarke in custody and Mr Palmer on bail to appear before the court again on December 9.

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