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Sasko Lazarov/
The Monk

Forever looking over his shoulder: As he walks free from court - what now for Gerry Hutch?

A booming property portfolio could be the answer for Hutch and his family as Ireland will still be too dangerous.

AS IRELAND ENJOYED its Celtic Tiger years and people were buying up property in off-shore locations, among them were Ireland’s criminal fraternity. 

Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch, 60, was no different but his purchases were much more organised. Because his endeavours with the Hutch Organised Crime Group had netted a lot of hard currency, they had to be. 

That cash needed to be dealt with in a way that would remove it from the clutches of the Criminal Assets Bureau who had caught Hutch previously in a €1m tax evasion ruling. 

Sources said what Hutch did was send that money offshore and into property in Spain, the Spanish island of Lanzarote, Turkey and possibly to the southern United States.

He is also understood to have bought property in the south-east of Ireland. He has extensive connections with Northern Ireland with a leading member of the gang operating a successful drug dealing enterprise in the region.

His property interests in Spain are not just a bolthole – they provided hideaways for when the behaviour of his associates became too hot at home. 

Much speculation now revolves around where Hutch will head to – Garda sources said that the threat against Hutch is now even higher. 

Many sources suggest, after he shaves off his beard and long hair, that the most likely location for him would be to head to Malaga and onto Fuengirola.

This was where he was arrested on 12 August 2021 as he sat in a restaurant with his wife Patricia. 

This may seem counterintuitive – the Costa del Sol is a haven for other criminals who may be closer aligned to his rivals the Kinahan Organised Crime Group. 

Multiple sources have said that there were suggestions at the time of his arrest that he had made representations to serve any potential sentence in Spain.

That agreement is not needed now as The Monk has succeeded in freeing himself from a potential time behind bars.

It is understood the Hutch organisation has links to another crime figure, George ‘The Penguin’ Mitchell, and this may also allow him to operate in other locations – perhaps the Netherlands. 

This may offer him some protection given that Mitchell has significant connections to Moroccan and Turkish organised crime figures.

Further charges? 

One key issue for Gerry Hutch is the risk of being arrested for leadership of the Hutch Organised Crime Group. 

Sources said this is unlikely – for two particularly strong legal reasons. 

If he is out of the country, a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) would require a charge which is matched in the jurisdiction where he is arrested. 

As the gangland legislation in Ireland is unique and not present in most other European countries – no similar charge would exist in Spain, for example – then it is almost impossible to have it issued.

The EAW cannot be issued on the basis of a need to question him at home either – it must be a charge for court. 

The second legal issue is centred around how the Irish legal system works and the fact that so-called ‘double jeopardy’ comes into play – meaning he cannot be charged again for the same crime. 

Essentially the guards were in possession of information pertaining to his position within the HOCG when they submitted the Regency murder trial file.

Sources who spoke to The Journal this evening said they “had their chance” and it is virtually impossible to get a charge now, as he cannot be tried twice.   

Sources have said, because of that legal principle, any effort to arrest and charge him with offences after the trial will not be met favourably by the Director of Public Prosecutions or the courts.

Whatever happens next, Hutch has again showed his capability to defeat the State, and garda sources have said there are now serious concerns about the revealing of garda surveillance tactics during the trial. 

While 70 prisoners languish in prison arrested in operations targeting the Kinahan and Hutch organised crime groups, the leaders of both gangs still walk free. 

Regardless of where he ends up, The Monk will forever be looking over his shoulder – free from the handcuffs of the gardaí but never free from those who would seek to exact revenge for the Hutch gang’s murder of David Byrne.