Lowry loses bid to stop tax offences actionTuesday 23 February 2016 17.57
Outgoing Independent TD Michael Lowry has lost his bid to stop his prosecution on tax offences but has pledged to appeal the decision.
Mr Lowry is due to go on trial at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
He is charged with deliberately filing an incorrect tax return and filing incorrect returns in relation to corporation tax as well as failing to have proper books of account.
The charges arise from a €372,000 payment made in August 2002 to an Isle of Man trust account.
An Appeals Commissioner found last year that Mr Lowry had no personal income tax liability arising from that payment.
Mr Lowry claimed the decision to put him on trial could not be justified in the light of that decision.
Mr Lowry also claimed there had been an interference with his right to a fair trial due to unprecedented interference with his case by the media.
And he claimed the transfer of his trial from Tipperary to Dublin was a fundamental breach of his rights and punished him for being a successful TD.
However, in his ruling, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said the reality of the case was that it was an attempt by Mr Lowry to challenge the DPP's decision to prosecute him when the time to do so has long since passed.
He said to make his case, Mr Lowry had to adopt the device of claiming the continuation of his prosecution was now unlawful while accepting the decision to prosecute was lawful.
He said Mr Lowry was unable to identify any point in time after the prosecution commenced when it became unlawful.
The judge said Mr Lowry had failed by a wide margin to demonstrate anything remotely improper in the conduct of the DPP in this prosecution.
He said Mr Lowry's many complaints about "state actors, organs of the media and alleged co-conspirators" were notable for the fact that none of these were before the court and none were the responsibility of the DPP.
Mr Justice Noonan said Mr Lowry had raised a "plethora" of issues, many of which were "irrelevant" but had conspicuously declined to engage with the transaction that lay at the heart of this case.
He said Mr Lowry's case was based on a multitude of arguments which were, in many instances, ingenious and even superficially attractive but were in truth devoid of any substance or merit and ultimately built on a foundation of sand.
He dismissed the application.
Lawyers for the State said the Appeals Commissioner had found Mr Lowry had no personal liability for tax when an assessment was raised on a very specific basis.
They said the process was still in train and an assessment could be raised by Revenue on a different basis.
In a statement this afternoon Mr Lowry said "I will be appealing today's decision to the Court of Appeal and if necessary to the European Courts. I wish to confirm both I personally and my company are in possession of tax clearance certificates".