Sunday 17 December 2017

Former TD facing corruption charge in rezoning probe

A FORMER Fine Gael TD and senator has become the fifth politician to be charged with corruption over the rezoning of land in south Dublin in the 90s.

Liam T Cosgrave (54) faces five counts of accepting corrupt payment to back the rezoning of lands at Carrickmines while he was a Dublin city councillor.

Mr Cosgrave with an address at Merrion Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was remanded on bail after he was arrested yesterday and brought before Dublin District Court.

An officer from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) told the court he arrested the accused at Chancery Place at 1.30pm yesterday. He brought him to the Bridewell Garda Station, where Mr Cosgrave replied "not guilty" to all charges.

Mr 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 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.

The accused did not address the court during the brief hearing. Judge Patrick McMahon granted bail in Mr Cosgrave's own bond of €200. He will be in court again on Thursday for the service of a book of evidence.

Four former Fianna Fail politicians as well as businessman Jim Kennedy have already been charged over the controversy. Former Senator Don Lydon, former councillors Sean Gilbride and Colm McGrath and now Independent Tony Fox appeared at Dublin District Court on Friday and were also all released on bail.

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 e53m 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.


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