A significant security operation is underway at the Criminal Courts of Justice as Jonathan Dowdall prepares to take the stand at the Regency murder trial.
Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch is on trial for the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Dublin in 2016.
Former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall was also due to stand trial for the murder; however, his plea to a less serious offence was accepted by the DPP.
The murder charge against him was dropped just before the trial opened before the non-jury court.
Mr Hutch’s lawyers have claimed that the charge was dropped in exchange for Mr Dowdall’s testimony against their client; however, the prosecution denied there was any link between the two developments.
Last week, the Special Criminal Court judges dismissed their attempt to prevent Dowdall from getting into the witness box.
He is now expected to do so at some point today.
Extra security measures have been in place throughout this trial but they’re expected to go up a notch again today to accommodate Dowdall giving his evidence.
The court has already heard that he’s been assessed for the Witness Protection Programme.
Dowdall is expected to claim that Mr Hutch told him he was part of the hit team that shot David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.
The former Sinn Féin councillor claims Mr Hutch told him he had been involved in the murder when he met him in a Dublin park not long after.
It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Hutch asked Dowdall to arrange a meeting with his Republican contacts with a view to mediating a ceasefire with the Kinahans.
Mr Hutch denies the charges against him.