Saturday March 06 2010
A LIST of names and addresses of a jury involved in a murder trial has been found in the home of a major gang crime suspect.
The discovery was made during a search and arrest operation this week in Dublin’s south city and has prompted a top level garda investigation.
It also raises serious questions over the integrity of the justice system, as detectives try to establish how the detailed information was obtained by criminals.
Other files including some with garda intelligence information on suspects from the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud were also found.
The jurors listed in the documents were involved in a lengthy murder trial that centred around a well- known gangster and drug dealer.
The information was so detailed that it even included phone numbers for the individual members and their home addresses.
Gardai made the worrying find when they searched the home of a close female friend of the gangster as part of an investigation into a separate murder in the city.
A source told the Herald: "This is a very serious matter which hits at the heart of our whole judicial system.
"Criminals with access to this sort of information have the capacity to undermine the entire jury system.
"A major investigation into how the leak could have occurred is under way and as few people have access to such information, it is expected that officers will get to the bottom of this quickly."
The Herald has also learned that detectives retrieved other sensitive documents, including garda intelligence files on the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.
The files, which were stolen from the back of a patrol car in 2008, listed the names of about two dozen associates of a gang leader, who had addresses in the greater Dun Laoghaire area.
The five pages of documents included their photos, car registration numbers and addresses, mainly in the Sandyford and Stepaside areas.
They were reported to have been photocopied and distributed widely among the rival gang members.
Those listed were contacted by gardai, informed of the theft, and advised to take extra precautions for their personal safety and their property.
One of the leading crime figures threatened to sue the State for putting his life in danger through their "negligence".
Gardai have launched a major investigation into both finds and are understood to be particularly concerned about the jury list. Jurors and witnesses have been intimidated in the past during a number of trials and sources said this discovery is a seriously worrying development.