Trial of Irish crime boss John Gilligan suspended until New Year on Spain’s Costa Blanca after co-defendant son fails to appear

THE trial of Irish criminal John Gilligan and eight other people was suspended on Tuesday in Torrevieja after one of the defendants- his son Darren- failed to appear.

The hearing has now been adjourned until April with his son believed to be in Ireland.

Gilligan could now be allowed to leave Spain until the trial resumes, with prosecutors registering no objection to giving him back his passport.

The document was withdrawn nearly two years ago and he was ordered to report to a Torrevieja court every 15 days after spending two months in Fontcalent prison.

Gilligan, 70, was arrested in October 2020, after the Policia Nacional raided his villa and other addresses in the Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa areas.

John Gilligan Arrest
GILLIGAN’S 2020 DETENTION(Policia Nacional image)

He and his associates have been charged with drug trafficking, the illegal possession of weapons, and belonging to a criminal gang.

Prosecutors want Gilligan jailed for over eight years if he’s convicted of all charges.

Pre-trial talks with defence lawyers over a plea bargain deal came to nothing but could be resurrected again.

Gilligan served 17 years behind bars in Ireland for running a large-scale drug trafficking gang in the nineties that netted over €35 million.

His recent operation is accused of posting parcels of drugs and guns to the UK and Ireland.

He was tried in Dublin in 1996 for the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin and acquitted.

A search of Gilligan’s villa uncovered a revolver buried in the garden which was similar to the one used to kill Guerin but nothing further could be confirmed.

Brian Meehan, a member of Gilligan’s gang, was given a life sentence for the execution and is still behind bars.

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