Ex-senator charged with corruption
Published 26/10/2010 | 17:32
A former Fine Gael TD and senator has been charged with corruption over a multimillion-euro cash-for-votes scandal.
Liam T Cosgrave faces five counts of taking bribes to back the rezoning of lands at Carrickmines in south Dublin.
The 54-year-old ex-politician, with an address at Merrion Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, appeared before Dublin District Court. After being arrested and taken to the Bridewell garda station, he was remanded on bail on his own bond of 200 euro and is due before the court again on Thursday.
Garda Martin Harrington of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) told the court the accused replied not guilty to all charges. Cosgrave is charged with corruptly receiving money between 1992 and 1997 as an inducement or reward to vote for the rezoning of the lands.
It is alleged the former Dublin City councillor, who is a son of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, was handed payments on different occasions at Buswells Hotel and the Davenport Hotel, both close to Leinster House. He was charged under the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act, The Prevention of Corruption Act and the Ethics in Public Office Act.
Four ex-Fianna Fail politicians and a Gibraltar-based businessman were charged over the alleged multimillion-euro land deal on Friday. Former Senator Don Lydon, former councillors Sean Gilbride and Colm McGrath and now Independent Tony Fox appeared at an evening sitting of Dublin District Court.
Businessman Jim Kennedy, who was treated for heart trouble after his arrest last week, faced six charges of paying off politicians in order to rezone the land.
The charges follow a marathon CAB investigation into the 53 million euro hike in land prices at Carrickmines after the rezoning of more than 100 acres owned by Jackson Way Properties. The lands were frozen by the Criminal Assets Bureau in 2005.
At the time, then CAB chief Felix McKenna said it was believed corrupt payments to county councillors secured the rezoning from agricultural to industrial use.
Former government press secretary Frank Dunlop, who was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to corruption, was accused of brokering the deal.