High Court reserves McKevitt judgment pending separate Supreme Court ruling

Wednesday 20 August 2014 22.44
Michael McKevitt's lawyers argue he is entitled to enhanced remission
Michael McKevitt's lawyers argue he is entitled to enhanced remission

The High Court will not give its judgment on whether or not convicted Real IRA prisoner Michael McKevitt should be released from prison until after the Supreme Court has dealt with a separate remission-related case.

Mr justice Bernard Barton was due to give his judgment this afternoon.

But he told the court he was reserving his decision until after the Supreme Court has dealt with another case which deals with similar arguments to McKevitt's.

McKevitt's lawyers argued that he is entitled to enhanced remission of his 20 year sentence for directing a terrorist organisation which would mean his immediate release.

But the State opposed the application.

Mr Justice Barton said this is matter of public importance but there were a lot of matters that were troubling him and he was reserving his judgment.

Counsel for McKevitt, Michael O’Higgins SC said the decision to reserve the judgment was very disappointing from his client’s point of view.

Mr O’Higgins asked to make a bail application this afternoon but the judge refused.

Counsel for the State Diarmaid McGuinness SC said he would have strenuous objections to bail and would be opposing the application.

McKevitt's case was adjourned pending the outcome of the Supreme Court case.

On Friday the Supreme Court will hear the State's appeal against a High Court ruling directing the immediate release of prisoner Eddie Ryan Junior, from Kileely, Co Limerick.

The High Court ruled that he was being held unlawfully after the Minister for Justice refused to grant him a one third remission of his sentence instead of the usual quarter.

All prisoners are entitled to a quarter off their sentence for good behaviour while further remission of up to a third off can be given when an inmate shows further good conduct by engaging in "authorised structured activity". 

The State opposed the application.