New Moriarty twist as key consultant to give evidence
The long-running saga of the Moriarty Tribunal took another dramatic twist yesterday when a key Danish witness agreed to give evidence at a public hearing.
The appearance of consultant Michael Andersen will mean reconvening another public hearing at Dublin Castle and further delay to the tribunal's final report to the Oireachtas.
Andersen Management International (AMI) was lead consultant to the Government in the process of awarding the second mobile phone licence 14 years ago.
And the boss at AMI, Mr Andersen, has prepared a long statement for the tribunal that backs up evidence given by former minister Michael Lowry and telecoms tycoon Denis O'Brien.
Mr Anderson's statement is also supportive of the civil servants who worked on the process of awarding the licence won by Mr O'Brien's company Esat Digifone.
Mr Andersen said he, or any of his colleagues in AMI, never met or spoke to Mr Lowry either before or after the awarding of the licence.
"I am confident that if any such interference (by Michael Lowry in the awarding of the licence) existed, then I would have become aware of it as part of my critical involvement in the process," said Mr Andersen.
The statement supported the evidence of civil servants in the Department of Transport.
Mr Andersen said that decisions taken by the civil servants were deemed by the tribunal to have conferred some sort of benefit or advantage to the Esat Digifone application.
"I strongly believe that any adverse preliminary finding on the part of the civil servants involved are wholly without any substance or basis," he said.
Mr Andersen challenged the tribunal's provisional findings that have been available to him and other affected parties since November 2008. He also said he was concerned about "inaccurate" statements in relation to his co-operation with the tribunal and his willingness to give evidence.