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Conviction for money laundering was unsafe

By: Hannah Godfrey BL

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Court of Appeal allows appeal against conviction for money laundering, on the grounds that: (a) the trial judge’s instructions to the jury might potentially have led the jury to conflate a presumption in relation to the requisite mens rea with the requirement on the prosecution to prove the fact that the money was in fact the proceeds of crime and therefore the words used by the trial judge amounted to a misdirection; and (b) the distinction between the terms legal burden and evidential burden may be lost on a jury and were not well explained in the judge's charge, such that there was a real and significant risk that the jury had been under the impression that there was some responsibility on the appellant to negative the statutory presumption or to disprove that he had the requisite mens rea.

Appeal against conviction for money laundering - possession of the proceeds of alleged criminal conduct, being cash in the amount of €127,100 and £146,940 - prosecution alleged that the appellant knew or believed that the property was the proceeds of crime or was reckless as to whether it was - appellant stopped at toll plaza and bag with the cash was in his boot - appellant contended that he was collecting it for a friend and knew that there was money in it but no the amount - unanimous verdict of jury in Circuit Court - whether trial judge misdirected jury - whether jury’s verdict was contrary to the weight of the evidence and was perverse.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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