Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch hasn’t been convicted of any crime for the last 25 years but anyone listening to Prime Time last night would find that fact difficult to believe as RTE Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds accused him of being involved in at least one armed robbery.
“Why do you say you didn’t do the robbery when you know you did and everybody else knows you did?”
So much for the principle of being innocent until proven guilty.
It’s interesting to observe how RTE treats people like Hutch in comparison to more ‘respectable’ criminals. For example, Miriam O’Callaghan introduced the piece by telling us that people are often outraged at how some individuals seem to be almost immune from prosecution.
For years I’ve been outraged at how politicians and white collar criminals seem to be immune from prosecution and yet I’ve never witnessed any of them get the grilling that Hutch received.
It’s also interesting to observe the parallels between Hutch and the most corrupt politician of all, Charles Haughey, a criminal who was always treated with the highest respect by RTE.
Hutch claims he made his money from shrewd investments in the property market. How many times did we hear Haughey supporters make the same claim – and expect us to believe it?
Hutch denied any knowledge about the source of dodgy money in his bank account. Haughey was just as barefaced in relation to dodgy money in his accounts.
Hutch was asked:
“The money that you made, the figures just don’t add up, the compensation doesn’t really wash, the evidence is there in the figures that don’t add up because one minute you’re a guy who has no money, you get a compensation claim and now you’re a multi-millionaire. – Do you really expect people to believe that?”
Haughey was a guy who initially had no money and then suddenly he was a multi-millionaire. His figures never added up but somehow he was never asked the hard questions.
Hutch said he didn’t care what people believed. Haughey adopted the same attitude.
Hutch claims that he was ignorant of tax laws but when he realised the error of his ways he was more than happy to settle with Revenue. Haughey also claimed ignorance of his tax obligations and also made a deal with Revenue.
But by far the most interesting comment was made by Detective Superintendent John O’Mahoney of the Criminal Assets Bureau.
“There are people out there who would have you believe that a certificate of tax clearance meant that people were innocent of criminality. A certificate of tax clearance is just that, it is not a certificate of innocence.”
Couldn’t agree with you more Superintendent.