Brian Meehan loses appeal to have murder conviction declared a miscarriage of justice
Apr 20, 2016 05:56 AM EDT
A Court of Appeal judge has rejected an appeal of a Dublin man convicted of killing a journalist in 1996. The man filed an appeal to declare a miscarriage of justice over the ruling of his murder conviction.
Brian Meehan, a 47-year-old from Crumlin who was jailed with a life sentence for the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, appealed that "new or newly-discovered facts" have been established, RTE News reported. However, Justice George Birmingham, the presiding Court of Appeal judge, dismissed the application and said no such facts have been uncovered.
Guerin was shot to death on the Naas Road on June 26th, 1996. A motorcycle pulled up alongside her car and the pillion passenger discharged a number of shots. Meehan has been convicted of her murder by the Special Criminal Court in July 1999.
According to Newstalk, he was prosecuted as he was believed to be the motorbike's driver driving the gunman who shot Guerin. Meehan's appeal centered on the alleged new evidences which emerged in the course of the 2001 Special Criminal Court trial of John Gilligan, who was ultimately acquitted of Guerin's murder.
Gilligan was acquitted of the murder charge, alleging he was the leader of the gang who had ordered Guerin's shooting. He was only convicted of drugs offences. A member of Gilligan's gang, Russell Warren, provided evidence against Meehan in his 1999 trial and Gilligan in 2001, and is now under the Witness Protection Programme.
The lawyers representing Meehan says during Gilligan's trial, his lawyers at the trial did not know that the same witness had failed to pick Warren out in an identification parade in a garda station. However, the court said it was not a new or newly-discovered fact.
The Court of Appeal judge dismissed Meehan's appeal as an "abuse of process", BBC News reported. The lawyers representing Meehan tried to argue that it was a "new or newly discovered fact" because it was not made available to his side during their trial.
It ruled that cases in which it is permitted to rely on the transcript of another trial are exceptional, but this is unfortunately not one of those cases.