The High Court has upheld a Circuit Court ruling made last June which postponed indefinitely Charles Haughey's trial on charges of obstructing the McCracken Tribunal. The ruling had been challenged by the DPP but this morning Ms Justice Mella Carroll said Judge Kevin Haugh had been perfectly within his rights in reaching his decision. Ms Justice Carroll did, however, say that there was nothing to stop the DPP from applying to Judge Haugh now to set a new date for Mr Haughey's trial.
Judge Haugh made his controversial decision last June. He said that there was a real and substantial risk that the former Taoiseach would not be able to get a fair trial. He cited comments made by the Tánaiste, Mary Harney, and leaflets advertising a rally, which featured Mr Haughey and bore the slogan "jail the corrupt politicians". Today, Ms Justice Carroll upheld that decision but she said that time had moved on since then.
There was, she said, a fade factor. The rally in question was over - just 300 people had attended it. She said that if the DPP applied for a new date for a trial it would be up to Charles Haughey's legal team to prove that the climate was still prejudicial.