Friday, April 10, 2015

Commandant Nile Donohue heads back to Irish High Court

Irish Air Corps Commandant Nile Donohue has brought an action in the High Court to block his trial by court-martial. According to this article in The Independent, the case raises a host of issues,
. . . including there has been an inordinate, prejudicial and unjust delay by the prosecution in bringing the charges against Cdt Donohoe. The charges, counsel said, were all brought against his client in 2009 and related to events that allegedly occurred up to two years previously.
Counsel said it is also their case the seven person Court Martial Board or jury, made up of officers in the Defence Forces, due to consider the charges against Cdt Donohoe has not been properly constituted.
One member of the jury is scheduled to give evidence on behalf of the prosecution, while other jury members are in Cdt's Donohoe's chain of command, counsel said.
Under either the 1954 Defence Act or the 2008 Defence Force's Rules of Procedures witnesses or offices within the accused members chain of command cannot be included in the jury, counsel said. The jury had be selected on a random basis, but this has not been demonstrated, counsel added.
Further grounds advanced include that relevant materials have not been properly disclosed to his client during a pretrial hearing in advance of Cdt Donohoe's Court Martial. This counsel said was a breach of fair procedures.
Counsel also said that new and significant evidence had also given to the prosecution. Counsel said the new material was not properly reviewed and described the decision to continue to prosecute Cdt Donohoe as "reckless."
Stay tuned.

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