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Wednesday 21 February 2018

I'm effectively the accused, Lowry tells Moriarty Tribunal

Sam Smyth

Former minister Michael Lowry told the chairman of the Moriarty Tribunal yesterday that he was effectively the "accused" and that he had been "unfair" to him.

Mr Lowry said a ruling Mr Justice Moriarty made prohibiting counsel raising allegations of bias against the tribunal's legal team "makes a mockery of tribunal law".

Mr Lowry complained about a total ban on hearing anything about private sessions where the tribunal legal team met Professor Michael Andersen, the witness currently giving evidence.

"I am effectively the accused," said Mr Lowry. "And it is unfair on me."

Mr Lowry was representing himself yesterday after telling the tribunal earlier that he could no longer afford to pay the legal team that represented him for the 13 years since proceedings began.

The former minister addressed Prof Andersen, the Danish consultant who led the project team deciding which consortium would win the second mobile phone licence in 1995.

In his statement to the tribunal, Prof Andersen had said he noticed the tribunal legal team's bias dealing with Esat Digifone, the consortium that won the licence.

The former minister, who was responsible for the awarding of the licence in 1995, said: "I never spoke to you or communicated with you before, during or after (the licence competition) until now."

Prof Andersen nodded and said: "We never met."

And then he joked: "I've been looking forward to how much influence you could exert on me."

Prof Andersen will complete his evidence today.

Irish Independent

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