BEEF BARON Larry Goodman, who employed the jailed TD Liam Lawlor as a consultant, should be made to repay the £9m awarded in costs by the Beef tribunal
BEEF BARON Larry Goodman, who employed the jailed TD Liam Lawlor as a consultant, should be made to repay the £9m awarded in costs by the Beef tribunal because he "perverted the course of justice" in the run-up to the tribunal, according to a claim made in legal documents seen by the Sunday Independent.
Solicitors acting for a former business partner of Mr Goodman have also filed a motion in the High Court to have the Louth-based multimillionaire jailed, if necessary, for failure to make documents available as part of a major pending law suit.
The law suit relates to Mr Goodman's secret takeover of Master Meats Ltd, his only other major competitor in the Irish beef industry at the time.
It can now be revealed that Mr Goodman told the sworn secret Fair Trade Commission: "I didn't own it, I never owned it, and I can put my hand on my heart and say that."
As a result of this, any investigation of the Master Meats saga was ruled inadmissible by the late Judge Liam Hamilton, who presided over the Beef tribunal.
But in papers lodged in the High Court in Dublin last week Mr Goodman has now accepted "for the purposes of these proceedings", that he was, in fact, the owner of Master Meats.
Mr Goodman had secretly bought 50 per cent of Master Meats from Mr Taher through a Liechtenstein company for $9.7m and then, it is alleged, he used a partnership agreement to force the company founder, Pascal Phelan, to unknowingly sell him the remaining share.
Former Minister for Industry and Commerce Des O'Malley has asked his successor, Mary Harney, if the new revelations constitute a criminal act by Mr Goodman.
An affidavit sworn by William Bradshaw, a solicitor acting for Zakaria Taher, Mr Goodman's former associate, and filed in the High Court on Thursday states: "I believe that Mr Goodman misled and misrepresented his involvement before the Beef tribunal of inquiry, who in turn relied upon Mr Goodman's evidence and misrepresentations before the Fair Trade Commission." It states: "Again, if Mr Goodman acknowledges unconditionally his ownership, then I believe he may risk allegations against him of misleading the tribunal and the late Mr Justice Hamilton. Indeed, I believe that such allegations may have wide-ranging consequences including, but not limited to, the reversal of the Beef tribunal costs order in favour of Mr Goodman amounting to some £9m.
"In this regard, I believe that it could be successfully argued that Mr Goodman has perverted the course of justice by advancing misrepresentations before the Beef tribunal which resulted in him illegally benefiting from his unlawful actions vis-a-vis the Tribunal Cost Order in his favour."
The papers were filed last week in a series of multi-million-pound litigation claims and counter-claims involving Larry Goodman, Pascal Phelan, who founded Master Meats Ltd, and Zakaria Taher, who was Mr Phelan's partner but sold his share to Goodman. The current Bank of Ireland chairman, Laurence Crowley, acted for Mr Goodman to get government clearance for the deal.
A two-day hearing has been set for early February.