A challenge brought by prominent republican Thomas 'Slab' Murphy to a ruling that tax charges against him should be dealt with by the non-jury Special Criminal Court rather than the ordinary courts may be heard by the Supreme Court before Christmas.
Thomas Murphy (aged 60) is being prosecuted on foot of an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
The nine charges allege that he failed to furnish a return of his income, profits or gains to the Collector General or the Inspector of Taxes for the years 1996/97 to 2004.
Mr Murphy, of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, is challenging the constitutionality of a law under which the tax charges against him are to be dealt with by the Special Criminal Court (SCC) as opposed to the ordinary courts.
He is appealing to the Supreme Court after losing a High Court challenge in November last year.
Counsel for Mr Murphy, Ms Jane Cassidy BL, this morning told the Special Criminal Court that Chief Justice Susan Denham had said she was “hopeful” the case could be heard before Christmas.
Mr Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge Cormac Dunne, listed the matter for mention again on December 18 and excused Mr Murphy from attending.