The judges at the Regency Hotel murder trial have decided to allow all of the recorded conversation between Gerry Hutch and Jonathan Dowdall into evidence.
Mr Hutch’s barrister had objected to its admissibility on several grounds, including the fact that eight of the ten hours of audio were recorded in Northern Ireland.
On the 7th of March 2016, just one month after the shooting at the Regency Hotel, former Sinn Féin Councillor, Jonathan Dowdall, drove Gerry Hutch to Northern Ireland.
The prosecution claims he had arranged for Mr Hutch to meet with his Republican contacts with a view to mediating a ceasefire with the Kinahan cartel.
A tracking device and a bug had been planted on Dowdall’s jeep and roughly ten hours of their recorded conversations were played to the court.
The defence challenged the admissibility of all of it, claiming the authorisation for the bug was unlawful. The judges didn’t accept that argument.
The admissibility of the portion of the chat recorded while the jeep was in Northern Ireland was also challenged because it was out of the jurisdiction.
The judges agreed those eight hours of evidence were unlawfully obtained but crucially, they ruled them to be admissible because the garda didn’t know of the illegality and “acted in good faith.”
The decision means the recording in its entirety can now form part of the prosecution’s case.
Reporting by Frank Greaney