independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Garda chief to consult DPP over Moriarty findings

THE Garda Commissioner is expected to consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions before deciding if there will be a criminal investigation in the wake of the Moriarty Tribunal report.

Last night, Martin Callinan was studying a review of the Moriarty findings by a special team of officers he appointed to examine the report last March.

It had initially been expected that the garda review would be completed within a month.

But a senior officer pointed out that the fact that it took six months indicated the complexity of the issues under review.

It is now likely that the commissioner will hold discussions shortly with the DPP, James Hamilton, who was also issued with a copy of the report

Further dialogue will also involve members of the review team before a final decision is made.

The review team, led by the head of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), Det Chief Supt Eugene Corcoran, was tasked with sifting through the 2,400-page report and examining statements made by witnesses, documentation and the conclusions and observations of Mr Justice Michael Moriarty.

The review was completed late last week and its conclusions were forwarded to garda headquarters at the weekend.

The team included other members of the CAB, who focused on potential issues such as unjust enrichment, corruption and tax, while officers from the garda fraud bureau took a close look at possibly suspicious financial transactions.

Their objective was to establish if the tribunal findings formed the basis for a criminal investigation into key players such as Independent TD Michael Lowry and if there was sufficient evidence to warrant fresh garda inquiries.

Evidence

Under the tribunal's legislation, gardai are prevented from using any of the evidence given to Moriarty unless they can establish independent verification of the details.

However, they are allowed to use the findings to help them plot a way forward and the evidence could also be used as a guide in seeking the production in court of other matters, such as documentation.

Mr Callinan has already indicated that sufficient resources would be made available for a full criminal investigation if needed.

Mr Lowry has challenged the CAB and the DPP to look into his dealings and said: "There will be no money trail."

Irish Independent

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