A Co Tyrone man fighting extradition over his alleged role in a Dublin gangland murder is to be granted bail, a judge ruled today.
Kevin Murray, who has been diagnosed with an irreversible form of motor neuron disease, is wanted in connection with the killing of David Byrne.
Defence lawyers secured the 46-year-old’s release from custody after arguing that the deteriorating medical condition means he poses no risk of flight.
Judge Patricia Smyth also banned any reporting of his whereabouts due to a death threat against him assessed as being at a high level.
Byrne, 34, from the Crumlin area of Dublin, was shot dead at the city’s Regency Hotel in February last year.
Masked men dressed as Garda officers opened fire with automatic guns during a boxing weigh-in at the venue.
The murder ignited a deadly feud between members of the rival Kinahan and Hutch gangs.
Murray was detained last September under a European Arrest Warrant issued by authorities in the Irish Republic.
He is being sought for alleged offences of murder, possession of a firearm with intent, and possession of a firearm in suspicious circumstances.
It was previously claimed in court that he had stayed overnight at the hotel in preparation for his alleged role in the shooting.
Gardai investigating the killing allege Murray can be clearly identified on CCTV footage and photographic evidence.
Another man, 24-year-old Patrick Hutch of Champions Avenue in Dublin, has already been charged with the murder.
He is alleged to have acted with the Co Tyrone man as part of the same gang.
But lawyers for Murray claim he is unlikely to ever stand trial because his motor neuron disease is so severe.
They revealed that his treatment in hospital includes advice on end of life care.
It was confirmed at Belfast Recorders’ Court today that police and the relevant health trust met to finalise a plan for ensuring Murray’s care and security.
With the wanted man having already surrendered his passport, Judge Smyth said she was prepared to grant bail.
Murray must also put up a £2,000 cash surety as part of his release conditions.
Agreeing to a defence request for the reporting restrictions, the judge said it was “both necessary and proportionate”.
The extradition case will be reviewed again next month.