Ms. Baiba Saulite “consistently” expressed serious concern about her safety in the years before she was killed, a Court investigation was announced yesterday.
A Latvian mother of two was shot dead in cold blood by a professional hit man on her doorstep in Swords, Dublin, in November 2006.
She is in the midst of a bitter family dispute with her ex-partner over custody of their two sons, aged three and five.
Her husband, a well-known figure in the underworld – who had kidnapped two children once before – was the main supplier of weapons to criminal gangs in both Dublin and Limerick.
However, the Lebanese man was behind bars at the time of the murder and no one has been charged with murdering the mother of two children.
Officers were criticized for their handling of the case after it was revealed that the gardai was in possession of a statement from Baiba, issued 5 days before she was killed, stating that she ‘ scared for his life.’
Retired Garda William Hughes claims he was ‘targeted’ by top police after pointing out force failures that led to the killings. These allegations are all denied by the owners of the garda.
Yesterday, the court heard Mr Hughes continue his statement at Dublin Castle.
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In a press release issued by An Garda Siochana that day, Mr Hughes claimed that he had found “factual inaccuracies” with what was said.
The statement reports that Ms Saulite has been provided with crime prevention advice regarding her property and personal safety.
Hughes said he has since discovered that “she really wasn’t given that advice”.
Hughes also emphasized that the press release said Ms Saulite “recently expressed concern for her safety”.
However, he asserted that the press release “doesn’t reflect that she was raising consistent concerns for her safety prior to her death”.
He added that Ms. Saulite had expressed concerns about her safety several times over several years.
The panel of judges is looking into whether the senior doctor tried to ‘exclude’ him from the investigation, and whether they ‘targeted’ and ‘discredited’ him for highlighting his interest in the disclosures is protected or not.
The court also heard that Hughes continued to be diagnosed with PTSD following his handling of the Baiba murder investigation.
The doctor proved he was unfit for work due to work-related stress and admitted he was in an “extremely low state” in 2007.
In 2007 his salary was also cut in half and then the pension rate, which Mr Hughes said had a “big financial impact” on him.
After a long period of sick leave, Hughes retired in 2013 for medical reasons.
During yesterday’s cross-examination, Hughes said he was personally shocked by Baiba’s death after learning of her in the kidnapping.
“I am extremely shocked and saddened that things have come to this stage,” he said. I feel like things have gone terribly wrong with Garda’s response to the whole matter.
“It shouldn’t have happened. I continue to believe that there are ways we could have prevented this.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8304665/baiba-saulie-safety-concerns-disclosures-tribunal/ Murdered mum Baiba Saulite ‘consistently’ expressed concern for her safety years before death, court hears