Convicted killer Graham Dwyer to seek legal aid for action on mobile phone evidence

Dwyer claims that certain aspects of a communications law were breached during the trial

Convicted killer Graham Dwyer to seek legal aid for action on mobile phone evidence

Convicted murderer Graham Dwyer is seeking legal aid to pursue action against the Garda Commissioner and State in connection to the use of mobile phone records in his trial for the killing of Elaine O'Hara.

Dwyer's High Court action, which he first began in January 2015, has been brought because these proceedings are not covered by civil or criminal legal aid.

The matter was in the court’s chancery list on Monday in relation to a motion seeking the court to make a recommendation that Dwyer gets legal aid for the proceedings. The motion was adjourned, on consent of the sides, to May 30th.

Dwyer was first charged with the murder of Elaine O'Hara in 2013 and was subsequently convicted by a jury in the Central Criminal Court in March 2015. He was issued a life sentence and his appeal against the verdict has yet to be heard.

The use of phone data was a major component in the evidence used to prosecute Dwyer. But the Cork native claims certain provisions of the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 breach his rights to privacy under the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The Directive underlying the 2011 Act was struck down by the European Court of Justice in 2015. During Dwyer’s trial, his lawyers argued the mobile phone data was inadmissible as evidence but those arguments were rejected by the trial judge.

In his High Court action, Dwyer is also seeking, if appropriate, damages and, if necessary, a reference of issues to the European Court of Justice.