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Ex-partners at Belfast KPMG office challenge tax probe - Eamonn Donaghy, Jon D'Arcy, Paul Hollway and Arthur O'Brien want judicial review

By Alan Erwin

Published 22/04/2016

Four former executives at accountancy firm KPMG involved in an investigation into suspected tax evasion have launched a legal challenge over searches of their homes and offices in Belfast
Four former executives at accountancy firm KPMG involved in an investigation into suspected tax evasion have launched a legal challenge over searches of their homes and offices in Belfast

Four former executives at accountancy firm KPMG involved in an investigation into suspected tax evasion have launched a legal challenge over searches of their homes and offices in Belfast.

Eamonn Donaghy, Jon D'Arcy, Paul Hollway and Arthur O'Brien are seeking to judicially review HM Revenue and Customs' handling of the probe.

The four partners in the firm's Belfast operation were reportedly arrested last November, but have not been charged with any wrongdoing. At the time KPMG said it was co-operating with the probe and had placed the men on "administrative leave".

In February KPMG said the four partners had retired. It said the inquiry related solely to the executives' personal affairs and was unrelated to the company's business or its clients.

The legal action was due to get under way at Belfast's High Court yesterday. But a panel of senior judges were told the four men want to amend a case, featuring a challenge to search warrants at their homes, to also include offices.

Their counsel, Barry Macdonald QC, said: "The amendment is made in relation to a search of business premises in circumstances where the applicants themselves have not been present when the searches were carried out. They were present at their homes when the searches were carried out."

A new statement from a witness dealing with what happened at those premises is set to be lodged. Granting permission to file the affidavit, Lord Justice Gillen listed the case for a further hearing next month.

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