CAB investigating Michael Lowry finances

Tuesday 29 March 2011 19.39
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Michael Lowry - CAB inquiry is 'just another investigation'
Michael Lowry - CAB inquiry is 'just another investigation'
Dr James Reilly - Investigation is 'a positive development'
Dr James Reilly - Investigation is 'a positive development'

The Criminal Assets Bureau is examining the financial affairs of the Independent TD Michael Lowry following the report of the Moriarity Tribunal.

A team of 15 officers from CAB and the Bureau of Fraud Investigations has so far been assigned to the case

The Investigation is also examining the circumstances in which Michael Lowry availed of the tax amnesty and his subsequent declaration of other income which was also referred to in the report.

The Independent TD made a settlement of €1.4m with the Revenue Commissioners but RTÉ News has learned this does not grant him immunity from prosecution.

He is due to address the matter in the Dáil this evening

The Criminal Assets Bureau was called in after the Moriarity Tribunal Report was referred by the Government to the Garda Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Garda Headquarters says the report is still being reviewed and that the Garda Commissioner has not formally sanctioned a criminal investigation but RTÉ News has learned CAB's inquiries are centred on the £867,000 sterling in payments and loan support which the tribunal says constitutes financial links between Denis O Brien and Michael Lowry.

The Independent TD was Minister for Communications when the mobile phone licence was awarded.

The CAB is focussed on all the circumstances surrounding the financial transactions - how and why they were made - through intermediaries - some offshore, and whether or not they are connected to the awarding of the mobile phone licence

Detectives will have to seek information from financial institutions here and abroad and gather and present evidence in a way that it can be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions and is admissible in court if necessary.

Both Michael Lowry and Denis O'Brien have given their own explanations but the Criminal Assetts Bureau will seek its own answers and carry out its own interviews.

The Bureau is also investigating the circumstances whereby the Independent TD availed of the 1993 tax amnesty and then publicly admitted three years later his tax obligations remained outstanding.

Michael Lowry said he would address the matter in his Dail statement tonight

It may take years before any CAB investigation which could lead to the DPP to consider a prosecution is completed.