herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Baiba lawyer gets 24-hour protection after firebombing

The solicitor who represented mum-of-two Baiba Saulite before her murder is still under 24-hour garda protection since his home was fire-bombed and his life was threatened.

The tight security surrounding the North Dublin solicitor will remain in place as Baiba's estranged husband Hassan Hassan prepares for release.

John Hennessy has been under guard since an attack on his Swords home in 2006. Petrol was poured through the front door and set alight.

These actions are believed to be a response to his representation of Baiba, and the solicitor is expected to remain under protection into the future.



Scam

Hennessy's protection continues as news emerged in recent days that Ms Saulite's estranged husband will walk free from Portlaoise prison shortly. He received a four-year sentence for his part in a car-ringing scam.

The father-of-two, with an address at Rivervalley Close in Swords, Co Dublin, was jailed for his part in a plan to export stolen vehicles to the Middle East.

In January of last year Hassan's sentence was extended by 30 days after he admitted to the possession of a mobile phone battery in Mountjoy jail.

The battery had fallen from his underwear as he was being searched by prison officers. He was also one of several people questioned about his wife's November 2006 murder, but has denied any involvement.

Baiba Saulite (28) had been smoking a cigarette outside her home at Holywell Square in Swords on November 19, 2006, with two friends when she was approached on foot by a gunman who fired several shots, killing her instantly.

Her two young boys were asleep in an upstairs bedroom at the time.

Baiba had been receiving sinister threats in the months before her murder and just five weeks before she was killed, her car was burnt out. She told friends she was in fear of a man she named but did not mention this to gardai when they investigated the arson incident.

The gunman fled with an accomplice and a black BMW was later found burnt out less than a mile away.

More than 20 people were arrested and hundreds more interviewed. Most of those detained were held on suspicion of withholding information, but all were released without charge.

In a "major blow" to detectives who have worked on the case for more than three years, it recently emerged that Baiba's killer will get off scot free.The DPP recently directed that no homicide charges be brought against the pathological criminal suspected of her cold-blooded murder.

The case file has been with the DPP for over 18 months, but they will not be pressing charges against those believed to be responsible.

Several times over the past 12 months, gardai had expected the DDP to direct charges of conspiracy to murder Baiba, but there was insufficient evidence to do so.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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