THE Special Criminal Court has ordered the disclosure of any recordings made between gardai and civilian witnesses during the investigation of two Limerick men who are charged with murdering businessman Roy Collins more than five years ago.
Wayne Dundon, aged 35, of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect and Nathan Killeen, aged 23, of Hyde Road, Prospect are each accused of murdering the 35-year-old at the Coin Castle Amusements arcade, Roxboro on April 9, 2009.
When they were charged last year, The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) certified that the ordinary courts were inadequate to deal with the administration of justice and that the case should be dealt with at the non-jury Special Criminal Court.
The trial of both men, which is expected to last several weeks, is due to begin on April 29, next.
Last week, lawyers representing the defendants told the court there were outstanding issues, including a defence request for disclosure of all communications between garda stations and prosecution witnesses, some of whom were in prison at the time.
This Wednesday, Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, said the accused men were detained at garda stations where there were either no recording facilities or where the only calls recorded were those received on an extension in a secure communications room, such as 999 calls.
He said other calls may have been received but these were transferred to another extension, whereby recording technically ceased.
Remy Farrell SC, representing Mr Dundon, said his client was also seeking recordings of any calls between gardai and prosecution witnesses, as it was a matter of relevance how the witnesses came to make statements and what the background was.
Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, representing Killeen, submitted that any recordings of phone calls between gardai and prosecution witnesses, some of whom were in prison at different times, were clearly and demonstrably relevant because the defence would be challenging the reliability of those witnesses.
Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley, presiding, said the court was ordering that any material relating to contact between gardai and civilian non-expert witnesses, as regards telephone recordings where that occurred, should be disclosed by the State.
She added that it seemed to the court that videos of interviews with prosecution witnesses in relation to the investigation should be also released to the defendants’ solicitors.
However, she said the court was not ordering the disclosure of videos of interviews with other suspects or with prosecution witnesses in relation to other investigations.
The court granted a separate application - made by Mr Ó Lideadha - for the disclosure of any video recordings of the questioning of Killeen during his detention.
Both Dundon and Killeen were remanded in custody pending their trial.