Peter Butterly Murder, trial,
Two of three men charged with the murder of dissident republican Peter Butterly have been granted bail by the High Court pending their retrial in 2017.
Dean Evans (24), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny and Edward McGrath (33) of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield Tallaght are charged with the murder of Mr Butterly in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath at around 2pm on March 6th, 2013.
Mr Evans and Mr McGrath are also charged with firearm offences on the same occasion.
The 55-day-long trial collapsed at the Special Criminal Court last month after a failure in evidence disclosure.
A third man Sharif Kelly (44), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan is also charged with the murder of the 35-year-old father of two on the same occasion. Mr Kelly was on bail throughout the trial and had honoured his conditions in full, the court heard.
At a bail hearing before the High Court today Mr Justice Michael Moriarty said “justice demands” that bail be granted to Mr Evans and Mr McGrath despite objections by senior gardaí.
Mr Justice Moriarty said the retrial of Mr Evans, Mr McGrath and Mr Kelly had been fixed for the Special Criminal Court in January 2017.
Mr Justice Moriarty said evidence given by two senior gardaí, including Superintendent Alf Martyn, was “quite chilling”. Not only that, the judge said, but their evidence amounted to a very strong case against Mr Evans and Mr McGrath.
Mr Justice Moriarty said the proposed retrial, fixed for a date in January 2017, meant that another two years in custody would be visited upon the accused.
As a result, Mr Evans and Mr McGrath may have served four years in custody before the case proceeds, he said.
That did not accord with the norms of constitutional justice, Mr Justice Moriarty said.
He said their continued detention based on the evidence of gardaí would amount to preventative detention when they still enjoyed a presumption of innocence.
Sureties for both men of €20,000 each were present in court. The sum of €20,000 represented the life savings of Mr McGrath's brother and sister, the court heard.
Mr Justice Moriarty said both men undertook to abide by a curfew, to sign on daily at garda stations, to provide mobile phone numbers to gardaí and to keep those devices switched on at all times.
If there was any breach of the terms, the judge said he would require the matter to come back before him.
Although free to walk from court that afternoon, Mr Justice Moriarty had a commitment to keep in the Four Courts which required both men to enter into their bonds before the Governor of the Midlands Prison.