Prosecutors are demanding an eight-year prison sentence for Irish drug lord John Gilligan although any appearance in court will now have to wait after the trial, due to start on Tuesday, was suspended, due to the absence of one of the defendants, Gilligan’s son

Gilligan, who was released from prison in Ireland in 2013 after serving 17 years out of a 28-year sentence for drug trafficking,

The defendant, who was investigated for the murder of the Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, is accused of running a network that sent narcotic substances, drugs and sleeping pills, from Vega Baja to Ireland by post, between 2019 and 2021

Sources close to the case say that Gilligans son is still in Ireland stating that he does not have enough money to travel to Spain. The court has confirmed that it will summon him again, while also starting the procedures to declare him in absentia.

The next hearing has been set for 17 April 2023 and is scheduled to run over three days.

While prosecutors are asking for sentences of seven years for each of seven other defendants they are demanding a prison term of eight for 70 year old Gilligan, because he is also charged with a the illegal possession of a weapon, as the Police found a compressed air pistol buried in his garden.

The weapon had characteristics similar to the one used in the journalist’s murder in Dublin in 1996, but the Irish police ended up ruling out any connection between the pistol and the crime.

The revolver found was identical to the one used to murder Veronica Guerin

Before the trial, the Prosecutor’s Office and the defense team were negotiating the terms of a possible agreement, in which all the accused would plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentences. However, no agreement was reached.

John Gilligan, who is currently 70 years old, was arrested in Torrevieja in October 2020 by agents of the Greco Levante group of the National Police, specialised in organized crime, after an investigation that began in July 2019. The investigations centred around the despatch of drugs and sleeping pills from Vega Baja to Ireland, hidden inside postal packages. Nearly 30,000 pills were eventually seized.

Following suspension of the trial on Tuesday, the court has returned his passport and has authorised him to travel to Ireland to take his partner to a medical operation.