Saturday 27 May 2017

State to pay legal costs for Callely case

Ivor Callely
Ivor Callely

Tim Healy

The State must pay the legal costs of former politician Ivor Callely's successful challenge over a refusal to grant him remission while serving a prison sentence.

He won his High Court case against the Minister for Justice's refusal to grant him enhanced remission from the five-month sentence he received for fraudulently claiming Oireachtas expenses.

Earlier this month, Mr Justice Anthony Barr quashed and referred back for reconsideration a decision by the Minister not to grant the remission.

The judge yesterday said Mr Callely was entitled to have legal costs of the case, which took three days to hear, paid for by the State, which had opposed the application. Had his challenge been dismissed, Mr Callely faced being returned to prison for six days to serve the remainder of his sentence.

The former politician brought proceedings over the refusals to grant him enhanced remission and temporary release from the sentence he received last year after he admitted he fraudulently claimed €4,207.45 expenses on forged mobile phone invoices.

He claimed he was entitled to one third remission of his sentence, as opposed to the normal one quarter, because he demonstrated good behaviour by participating in structured prison activities, and was unlikely to re-offend.

He also argued the Minister's refusals were unfair and he was not being treated the same as other prisoners who have committed more serious crimes.

Irish Independent

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