Trial date set as Gerard 'The Monk' Hutch charged
Gerard "The Monk" Hutch appeared before an out-of-hours sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court last night charged with the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.
Presiding judge Mr. Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge David McHugh, fixed a trial date for Mr. Hutch of October 3, 2022, where the accused will go on trial alongside four other co-accused, who are charged in connection with the murder of David Byrne.
Mr. Hutch was brought to court last night under heavy security just hours after a Casa 235 military plane flew the 58-year-old directly from Madrid to Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnell in the southwest of Dublin.
Mr. Hutch arrived under armed garda escort and amidst tight security to the Criminal Courts of Justice building on Parkgate Street shortly before 8pm yesterday evening.
Last April, the High Court issued a European Arrest Warrant following an application from the Director of Public Prosecutions for the arrest of Mr. Hutch, who was wanted to face trial in Ireland. Mr. Hutch has been in custody since being arrested in a restaurant in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol on August 12 by the Guardia Civil.
Mr. Hutch, was extradited from Spain yesterday afternoon after his final appeal against extradition to Ireland was rejected by a Spanish Appeals Court on September 14. He was being held in a Madrid prison.
In fighting his extradition to Spain, Mr Hutch argued he was under threat in Ireland from criminal groups. The Spanish court rejected this argument, stating the Irish authorities are capable of keeping him safe.
David Byrne (34), from Crumlin, was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.
Mr. Hutch, who appeared before the court wearing a white linen jacket, a white shirt, mustard pants and a face mask covering his grey beard, stood as requested when the court registrar read the charge to him. Asked if he was Gerard Hutch, he replied: "Eh yes".
The book of evidence was then served on Mr. Hutch.
Mr. Hutch is the third man to be charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on February 5, 2016.
A nephew of Mr. Hutch, Patrick Hutch, walked free from the Special Criminal Court in 2019 after charges against him for the murder of Mr. Byrne at the Regency Hotel were dropped by the State. Patrick Hutch (28) of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr. Byrne.
Last April, former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall (43), with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 was charged at the non-jury court with the murder of Mr. Byrne at the hotel. He will go on trial alongside the three other co-accused on October 3, 2021.
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