Belfast Telegraph

Callely held in expense fraud probe

Former junior minister Ivor Callely has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

The ex-Fianna Fail TD and senator is being questioned in relation to mobile phone expenses he claimed during his time in the Seanad.

Mr Callely, who resigned from politics over a previous expenses scandal, was arrested at his home on St Lawrence's Road, Clontarf, north Dublin at lunchtime. The terrace house was also searched by detectives.

Officers from the Garda Bureau of Investigation can hold Mr Callely for up to 24 hours under section four of the Criminal Justice Act. He was being questioned at Irishtown Garda Station.

The ex-politician was accused of falsely claiming around 3,000 euro for mobile expenses while a senator between 2002 and 2006 for a company that had gone out of business in the 1990s. It is believed he supplied invoices from the company - Business Communications Ltd - even though it was not trading.

Allegations first emerged in August 2010 when former Green Party backbencher Paul Gogarty made an official Garda complaint over reports that Mr Callely allegedly used the company invoices for a mobile phone allowance claim.

At the time, Mr Callely claimed he had submitted the invoices in good faith and was not aware the company was defunct.

The Standards in Public Office Commission examined the claims and a report was filed to the Director of Public Prosecutions last April.

Mr Callely was elected to the Dail for Dublin North Central in 1989 after failing in a previous election. He lost his seat in 2007.

The then Fianna Fail candidate also failed to win election to the Seanad in that year but was appointed as one of former taoiseach Bertie Ahern's 11 nominees. Mr Callely did not contest the Dail or Seanad elections last year.

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