Court rules witness protection case must be heard in-cameraFriday 14 March 2014 20.57
The High Court has ruled that the case of a man, who was in the witness protection programme and is now suing the State over an alleged failure to give him a new identity, must be heard in-camera.
David Mooney is suing the State because he claims it did not keep to its side of the deal it made with him more than ten years ago, after he entered the witness security programme.
Mr Mooney gave evidence at the Special Criminal Court against two men associated with organised and subversive crime and both were sent to prison.
He claims he was promised a new identity, a new date of birth and help to relocate to another country.
He said the State's failure to honour its agreement with him means his life and the lives of his partner and child are now in danger.
Mr Mooney wanted the case heard in an open court so that his credibility could be vindicated.
However, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan ruled that if the case was to be heard in public the lives of gardaí and others in the witness security programme could be put at risk.
He also said the relationship with other countries that relocate protected witnesses could be damaged.
The State claims that the nine gardaí who are familiar with the witness security programme would become targets for subversives and those involved in organised crime if their identities became known.
The High Court ruled that while the evidence is to be heard in-camera, the judgment will be delivered in open court.