Businessman wins permission to challenge judge's decision22/01/2013 - 12:41:40
Businessman Jim Kennedy has secured permission from the High Court to challenge a judge's refusal to require former Government press secretary Frank Dunlop give sworn testimony for the purpose of criminal proceedings against Mr Kennedy.
Mr Kennedy denies 16 charges including giving sums of money to certain politicians as an inducement or reward for voting in favour of motions to rezone certain lands at Carrickmines Co Dublin in 1992 and 1997.
The chief prosecution witness is Mr Dunlop and the case is due to be heard later this year.
This morning, after considering the application overnight Mr Justice Michael Peart said he was satisfied to grant Mr Kennedy permission to bring his High Court judicial review challenge. The judge made the matter returnable to date next month.
Yesterday, Declan McGrath SC, for Mr Kennedy, said the Circuit Court was asked last November for an order under Section 4F of the 1967 Criminal Procedure Act requiring Mr Dunlop to appear before a District Court Judge to give his evidence by sworn deposition.
Mr Kennedy wanted Mr Dunlop deposed because evidence given by Mr Dunlop at the Mahon Tribunal was inconsistent with, and contradicted, a witness statement by him as part of the DPP's case against Mr Kennedy, counsel said.
Mr Kennedy wants Mr Dunlop deposed in order to reconcile the two contradictory statements, Mr McGrath said. If Mr Dunlop agreed the correct version of events was that given by him to the Mahon Tribunal, a number of charges against Mr Kennedy must fall, he said.
Last December, Judge Martin Nolan refused Mr Kennedy's application to have Mr Dunlop deposed and the judicial review proceedings arise from that refusal.
Mr McGrath said Mr Kennedy believes there is a risk the trial will be unfair and his client was entitled to full disclosure of the evidence against him as he prepares for trial.
In his proceedings against Judge Nolan and the DPP, Mr Kennedy, Cormorant Quay, Gibraltar, wants orders quashing the refusal to have Mr Dunlop appear before a judge of the District Court and give evidence by way of sworn deposition.
It is alleged Judge Nolan failed to give adequate reasons for his refusal and failed to address the main submissions made on Mr Kennedy's behalf.
It is argued Judge Nolan took into account irrelevant considerations in saying Mr Dunlop's statement of evidence is "virtually bereft of detail" as to the circumstances under which certain alleged payments were made.
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