Guerin killing prompts Irish bail referendum

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The Independent Online
The leaders of the three main Irish political parties confirmed last night there will be a constitutional referendum later this year to introduce stricter bail terms. There are also legislative moves to allow inferences to be drawn in drugs prosecutions from a suspect's refusal to answer questions.

The move came as a reward of IRpounds 100,000 (pounds 104,000) was offered for information leading to the conviction of the murderers of the Dublin crime reporter, Veronica Guerin.

The move, by her employers, the Irish-based Independent Newspapers, came as Dail opposition parties urged the declaration of a "national emergency" to give legal force tourgent measures to combat organised crime and terrorism.

The Irish attorney general, Dermot Gleeson, is studying 12 opposition proposals.

The Opposition package aims to repair what is seen as the paralysis of Irish capital's criminal justice system, where 20 prisoners a day are released early from Mountjoy Jail because of lack of space, and where only three District Court judges are available to hear 1,000 serious crime cases annually.