Written answers

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Department of Justice and Equality

Witness Security Programme

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Labour)
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To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the budget allocated to the Garda Witness Protection Programme for the years 2009/2010/2011/2012 and 2013;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13379/13]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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The budget allocated to the Witness Security Programme as reflected in the Appropriation Accounts for the years 2009 - 2012 is set out in the table below.

Year
Estimate Provision
2009
€0.498 million
2010
€0.700 million
2011
€0.700 million
2012
€1.198 million

The provision for 2013 is expected to be the same as 2012.

The Garda Síochána operates a Witness Security Programme to respond to attempts by criminal and other groups to prevent the normal functioning of the criminal justice system, including threats of violence and systematic intimidation of witnesses. By virtue of the highly confidential nature of the Programme and the need to maintain the protection of persons in that Programme, it is not the policy nor would it be appropriate to detail the specifics of its operation. I can say, however, that it is being operated in a significant number of cases and it has proven its worth over the years in helping to secure the conviction of very serious organised crime leaders.

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