herald

Friday 23 June 2017

Cartel man bids to gag press in fight with CAB over €500k assets sale

Kinahan mobster Liam Byrne
Kinahan mobster Liam Byrne

Kinahan cartel member Liam Byrne has tried to gag the press by having the Criminal Assets Bureau's multi-million euro case against him and associates heard behind closed doors.

Counsel for Byrne, whose brother David was shot dead in the Regency Hotel attack in February 2016, said his client was concerned about publicity the proceedings had received in the media.

He said he would be making an application to the court on Mr Byrne's behalf to have the remainder of the case heard in private.

The move came as the High Court yesterday cleared the way for the CAB to sell assets - including several cars worth €500,000 - which it says are linked to the Kinahan organised crime gang.

The CAB had previously secured court orders freezing the assets, which also includes jewellery and motorbikes, and which were seized following raids at various locations in March last year.

The proceedings were against Byrne, who the CAB says is a member of the Kinahan gang, and several of his associates. It says the items, which are now worth approximately €500,000, are the proceeds of crime.

The CAB says the vehicles, linked to a bogus car sales company, were used by the Kinahan crime group as currency for services and for laundering money.

Sworn

In February, the court appointed a receiver over the cars and granted orders allowing the receiver to sell the vehicles.

It sought the sales order because the vehicles were depreciating in value.

The court placed a stay on that order pending any application to the courts by any of the individuals linked to the assets.

When the matter returned before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart yesterday, she said she was satisfied to lift the stay, except in relation to one car where one of the respondents had filed a sworn statement.

Seeking the lifting of the stay order on the selling of the assets, Grainne O'Neill, for the CAB, said only one of the respondents had sworn an affidavit since the matter had last been in court.

Several lawyers representing the parties, including Tony McGillicuddy, for Mr Byrne, had asked the court for an additional week before lifting the stay, which he said would be beneficial to the CAB.

Counsel said his client wished to provide the CAB with certain correspondence in relation to one of the vehicles.

Separately, counsel said his client was concerned about publicity the proceedings had received in the media.

Several other lawyers representing some of the other respondents said they would be supporting the application to have the case heard in private.

The judge, after rejecting applications to continue the stay on all but one of the vehicles, adjourned the case to April 24.

On that date, all remaining matters, including any application to have the case heard in private, will be considered by the court.

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