A legal challenge to the non-jury Special Criminal Court’s jurisdiction to hear the Kevin Lunney abduction trial has failed.
The decision clears the way for the trial of four men accused of falsely imprisoning and seriously assaulting the director of Quinn Industrial Holdings to begin tomorrow.
Kevin Lunney claims he was abducted from outside his home in Co Fermanagh in September 2019, beaten up and then dumped by the side of a road in Co Cavan.
The trial of four men accused of falsely imprisoning and assaulting him was due to get underway yesterday but one of the defence barristers, Michael O’Higgins, challenged the Special Criminal Court’s jurisdiction to hear it at all.
He said the emergency legislation which gave life to the non-jury court was supposed to be temporary, but has now crystallised into something permanent.
He also raised concerns about the decision-making process, claiming civil servants in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions were deciding new circumstances in which the special criminal courts can conduct trials.
In ruling against him, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said it was “undoubtedly the case” that the court had jurisdiction to hear this trial and it would continue in the ordinary way.
It’s due to open tomorrow morning.