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Murray v. United Kingdom

22 Eur. Ct. H.R. 29 (1996)

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Murray v. United Kingdom

European Court of Human Rights

22 Eur. Ct. H.R. 29 (1996)

Facts

Kevin Murray (defendant) and several codefendants were arrested at a house in Belfast, Ireland, and charged with conspiracy to murder, unlawful imprisonment of Mr. L, and belonging to the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). Mr. L was an IRA member turned government informant. At Murray’s bench trial, the government (plaintiff) alleged that Murray and his coconspirators lured Mr. L to the house, detained him in an upstairs room, interrogated him, and had planned to kill him. Mr. L testified that he was forced under threat of death to make a taped confession that he was an informant. Mr. L also testified that when the police arrived at the house, Murray had instructed Mr. L to go downstairs and watch television while pulling tape from a cassette. Police recovered the cassette and discovered that portions of the tape included Mr. L’s confession that he was an informant. Murray had remained silent from the time of his arrest, through 21 hours of interrogation, and at trial. At the time of arrest, police advised Murray that his silence could support relevant evidence against him. At trial, the judge informed Murray that his refusal to take the stand could create an adverse inference against him. Murray was convicted of aiding and abetting unlawful imprisonment and sentenced to eight years. Murray appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

Dissent (Walsh, J.)

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