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Shatter's brother-in-law due in court

THE brother-in-law of Justice Minister Alan Shatter will appear in court later this week charged with two theft offences, the Herald can reveal.

Howard Danker, who is in his late 40s, has been on bail from Dun Laoghaire Garda Station for the past fortnight and is due to appear before the local district court on Friday.

Mr Danker was first arrested and quizzed at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station last March before being released without charge.

He was further interviewed at the station on May 28 where he was charged with two counts of theft – one relates to the theft of €750, while the other relates to a theft of €1,113.

It is not known how Mr Danker will plead.

Mr Danker, of Sundrive Road in Crumlin, south Dublin, has been involved in a foreign property business in Spain as well as a wedding company.

ROLEX

The former antiques dealer had lived in Marbella in Spain but recently returned to Ireland.

Father-of-two Mr Danker is the brother of Mr Shatter's wife Carol.

In March, 2011, mum-of-two Mrs Shatter (57) was fined €300 and disqualified from driving for a year at Dublin District Court.

At the time, Mr Shatter was involved in negotiations with the Labour party in advance of the formation of the current Government in which he was appointed Minister for Justice.

Mr Shatter's tenure as justice minister has been at times a controversial one.

It emerged last month that he was stopped by gardai at a checkpoint five years ago on Pembroke Street in Dublin and asked to give a breath sample, but claimed he could not do so because of his asthma.

Gardai later said there is no report on the incident and that his account is consistent with what they believe happened.

Separately, Mr Shatter has confirmed that one of two watches stolen from his home turned out to be a fake Rolex.

The burglary occurred while the minister was on a St Patrick's Day visit to Australia.

"The first, a good watch which had belonged to my late father-in-law and the second, a cheap watch which I purchased on holidays in Spain or the Canaries 20 years ago," he said.

One of Mr Shatter's responsibilities as Justice Minister is to tackle the massive counterfeit trade, which costs European economies billions each year.

kfoy@herald.ie


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