Decision on garda probe into tribunal findings due
A DECISION is expected in the autumn on whether the gardai should launch a criminal investigation into the findings of the controversial Mahon and Moriarty tribunals.
Gardai are tied up in detailed discussions on the two reports with lawyers from the offices of the Attorney General Maire Whelan and the Director of Public Prosecutions Claire Loftus.
The outcome of those talks will determine if there is a basis for a criminal investigation into the findings.
A team of gardai from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was appointed by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan last March to study the Mahon report immediately after it was published and compile a report for him.
Officers from CAB are also involved in the review of the 2,400-page Moriarty report and this has been under way since March 2011.
Under the terms of the tribunal legislation, gardai are prohibited from using any of the evidence given to Mahon or Moriarty unless they can establish independent verification of the details.
However, they will be able to use the findings to help them plot a way forward.
CAB carried out a criminal investigation into the fallout from an earlier report of the Flood/Mahon Tribunal and this led to a number of prosecutions.
Although the Mahon Tribunal found that a number of people, including former Fianna Fail minister and EU Commissioner Padraig Flynn, had accepted a corrupt payment, the gardai would have to carry out their own inquiries and then prepare a file for the DPP.
If given the go-ahead, the investigation would examine if there was evidence to substantiate a criminal charge of corruption against Mr Flynn for holding on to a contribution of €50,000 from developer Tom Gilmartin, which was intended as a political donation to the Fianna Fail party.
Mr Flynn, who has resigned from the party, disputes the Mahon findings.