European Court of Human Rights rules IRA membership trial fair

Thursday 12 December 2013 16.54
The ECHR ruled that Kenneth Donohoe's right to a fair trial was not violated
The ECHR ruled that Kenneth Donohoe's right to a fair trial was not violated

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a Dublin man's right to a fair trial had not been violated by procedures adopted by the Special Criminal Court.

Kenneth Donohoe was convicted of IRA membership in 2004 on the basis of garda evidence.

The evidence was made available to the three-judge court, but not the defence.

In its judgment, the court found this non-disclosure was for the legitimate purpose of protecting human life and State security.

The Strasbourg court noted oral evidence given during the trial by a Garda Chief Superintendent, who said that it was his belief that Mr Donohoe was a member of the IRA.

However, it also found that the conviction was supported by additional evidence that corroborated the Chief Superintendent's belief.

It said there also were additional safeguards in place during the trial to ensure it was fair.

Both Ireland's Court of Criminal Appeal and Supreme Court had already rejected Mr Donohoe's appeals.