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Former Minister Ivor Callely released - file sent to DPP


FORMER junior government minister Ivor Callely has been released from custody after questioning by fraud squad detectives and a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The ex-Fianna Fail TD was detained at Irishtown Garda Station, where he was quizzed about his mobile phone expenses in the Seanad.

A silver-coloured Toyota car pulled up at the station shortly after noon to collect Mr Callely.

Outside, solicitor Noel O'Hanrahan read a short statement: "Mr Callely has been detained under section four of the Criminal Justice Act, which gives the Garda Siochana the power to investigate complaints.

"Mr Callely has now been released. Mr Callely is completely and totally innocent of any wrongdoing."

Mr Callely, who resigned from politics over a previous expenses scandal, was arrested at his home on St Lawrence's Road, Clontarf, north Dublin, at lunchtime yesterday.

The Edwardian terrace house was searched by detectives.

The former politician was accused of falsely claiming around €3,000 for mobile expenses while a senator between 2002 and 2006 for a company that had gone out of business in the 1990s.

It is believed he supplied invoices from the company - Business Communications - even though it was not trading.

Allegations first emerged in August 2010 when former Green Party backbencher Paul Gogarty made an official garda complaint over reports that Mr Callely allegedly used the company invoices for a mobile phone allowance claim.

At the time, Mr Callely claimed he had submitted the invoices in good faith and was not aware the company was defunct.

The Standards in Public Office Commission examined the claims and a report was filed to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last April.

Mr Callely was first embroiled in an expenses scandal two years ago after claiming 81,000 euro of allowances for a holiday home in Kilcrohane, west Cork.

He was based in Clontarf and a parliamentary investigation found he had deliberately misrepresented his normal place of residence over a three-year period.

Mr Callely was handed a 20-day suspension from the Seanad, but the High Court subsequently overturned the order, ruling that he had not been given a chance to defend himself.

PA Media