Sunday 15 December 2019

£26m Northern Bank raid: Ted Cunningham wins appeal

Brian Hutton

A money lender jailed for 10 years for laundering more than £3m (€3.7m) from the Northern Bank robbery has had his convictions overturned.

Timothy "Ted" Cunningham, 63, of Farran, Co Cork, will face retrial on nine of the 10 counts against him, Dublin's Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) has ruled.

The former financier challenged his convictions after the Supreme Court declared earlier this year that certain search warrants previously used by investigating gardai were unconstitutional.

A number of other trials have also collapsed since the ruling on the controversial warrants issued under Section 29 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Mr Cunningham was sentenced in April 2009 after a 44-day trial in which he was found guilty of laundering more than £3m from the £26.5m robbery of the Northern Bank in Belfast in December 2004.

He pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to 10 charges of money-laundering and appealed.

The three-judge CCA quashed the convictions on the basis that the warrant used to search his home was under section 29 of the Offences Against the State Act, and therefore not valid.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, sitting with Mr Justice Michael Moriarty and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, ordered Mr Cunningham face a retrial on nine of the 10 counts against him.

However, he will not be retried on the 10th count, which referred to a £2.4m allegedly found in his home on February 17 2005, on foot of a Section 29 search warrant.

The other nine charges relate to smaller sums of money allegedly transferred by Mr Cunningham to other people.

Mr Cunningham is expected to be released after signing off on a bail bond at Limerick Prison later today.

After winning his appeal, he said: "I'm very, very happy."

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