The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court will decide on Monday whether Charles Haughey's trial on charges of obstructing the McCracken Tribunal will go ahead. Lawyers for Mr Haughey and for the Director of Public Prosecutions have finished their legal submissions.
The DPP presented arguments today, opposing Charles Haughey's application to have his criminal trial postponed. Senior Counsel Maurice Gaffney said that jurors are well capable of sizing up the press and publicity. He said that, when people are picked for a jury, a new wind blows in their faces and that wind brings with it a clear understanding of their task, which is to try the issue before them and give a true verdict in accordance with the evidence.
Mr Haughey contends he cannot have a fair trial in any circumstances because of the adverse publicity that continues to surround him. However, Mr Gaffney for the DPP disputes this. He said that the mechanisms of jury selection and the opportunities during a trial for challenges to certain evidence create a high and impregnable wall to protect an accused person. Jurors, he said, would be responsible as human beings to the fact that, because Mr Haughey held such a prominent position, he is to some degree in a special category, but not so special that he cannot be tried justly. The DPP, he said, is not in court to score goals like in the European Championships, he is in court to see that justice is done.