Spanish court shelves its probe into the murder of 'Hatchet' Kavanagh
a SPANISH court has shelved its investigation into the gruesome murder of Irish gangster Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh.
The judge leading the probe has closed his inquiry into the horrific shooting of the gangland enforcer at a Costa del Sol pub last September, after failing to find out who gunned him down.
Two gunmen shot Kavanagh nine times in a professional hit on the terrace of Harmons Irish Bar, in Elviria, near Marbella, before making their getaway in a BMW they torched outside a nearby supermarket.
The Marbella court heading the investigation confirmed last night it had shelved its inquiry because "the culprits' identity was not known".
"The closure is a provisional one based on the current conditions and the case can be reactivated if new evidence comes to light," a court worker said.
"But this decision is recognition that the case has reached a stalemate and in the present circumstances the judge feels it is at a dead end."
A court source added: "The chances of this crime being solved obviously diminish with the shelving of the investigation. The authorities will work on any new information they get given but from a judicial point of view the Kavanagh crime is no longer being actively investigated."
Spanish authorities trying to get to the bottom of Kavanagh's murder on September 6 last year are thought to have come up against a wall of silence.
They probed possible links to the botched shooting of retired boxer Jamie Moore, outside Christy Kinahan's son Daniel's home near Estepona last August.
Moore's shooting, which was believed to have been a case of mistaken identity, led to Daniel, who is facing a money-laundering trial with his brother Christopher and their dad, seeking police protection.
Costa police later sought garda help over reports Kavanagh, who worked as an enforcer for Kinahan, had become embroiled in a drug feud between the expat gangland figure and Dublin gangster Chris Russell over a €1.5m debt.
Alleged disputes involving Kavanagh with the Russian mafia and a Dutch drugs gang were also looked into.
Kavanagh's murder happened just nine days after a Dutch drugs lord died in a hail of bullets just outside Marbella.
The masked men who shot Kavanagh dead were seen by witnesses before they pulled their masks on and CCTV images of the murder were captured.
But authorities have so far been unable to identify a blond man wearing shorts and a "bald, fairly fat" man dressed in black blamed for the killing.
Officers are thought to have been unable to recover any fingerprint evidence from the murder weapons found in the killers' stolen BMW X3, after it was abandoned five minutes away, doused in petrol and set alight.
The hitmen left 29 holes between exit and entry wounds in the mobster's body, according to an autopsy.