THE trial of five men accused of giving or receiving corrupt payments in relation to the rezoning of land in South County Dublin has opened in the Circuit Criminal Court.
The men include three former Dublin councillors and a sitting councillor who are accused of receiving payments in the 1990s for voting to rezone lands at Carrickmines.
The trial opened this morning before Judge Mary Ellen Ring and a jury of eight women and four men.
One of the accused, businessman James Kennedy, is charged with making corrupt payments to politicians at number of locations in Dublin city centre including Conway's Pub, Buswell's Hotel, the Davenport Hotel and the offices of former lobbyist Frank Dunlop.
Mr Kennedy (66) of Cormorant Way, Queens Quay in Gibraltar has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of corruptly giving money to members of Dublin County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on dates in 1992 and 1997 in exchange for votes in favour of motions to have lands in Carrickmines zoned for industrial use.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councillor Tony Fox of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, along with former politicians Colm Mc Grath of Swiftwood, Saggart, Donal Lydon of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue and Liam Cosgrave of Merrion Park, Blackrock - all in Dublin - are also being tried for allegedly receiving corrupt payments on dates in 1992 and 1997.
They deny the charges.
The trial is expected to last for four weeks.