RTE has learned that the former assistant city and county manager in Dublin, George Redmond, has received a tax assessment from the Criminal Assets Bureau for over half a million pounds. It is estimated that with interest and penalties, the final liability could be in the region of £2 million. It was also reported recently that CAB had set up a special unit to investigate various allegations of corruption in the planning process as well as possible breaches of the tax laws, and its expected that a number of builders will be interviewed in the coming weeks.

The Criminal Assets Bureau, headed by Chief Superintendent Fachtna Murphy, has been investigating accounts held by Mr Redmond since earlier this year. In a raid on his house in the Castleknock area of Dublin last February, CAB detectives seized a large quantity of documents, many of which referred to accounts in banks and building societies. Since then, they have tracked down and analysed up to 20 accounts and they believe that more than a million pounds went through them in the past 20 years. This includes £300,000 in cash and bank drafts Mr. Redmond was found to be carrying when CAB detectives arrested him at Dublin airport last February on his return from the Isle of man. As a result, it is understood that the bureau served a tax assessment on Mr Redmond at the end of last week, for well over half a million pounds. With interest and penalties, tax experts estimate that the final liability could be as much as £2 million.

Following his arrest at Dublin airport, Mr. Redmond was detained at Harcourt Terrace Garda Station for 12 hours for questioning, and since then has voluntarily gone to the CAB offices on several occasions to be interviewed. He is expected to be a key witnessed in the Flood Tribunal, which is inquiring into allegations of corruption in the planning process. However, the CAB has refused to comply with an order by tribunal chairman, Mr Justice Flood to hand over the documents seized at Mr Redmond's house. After consulting with the Garda Commissioner, Pat Byrne, and Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Eamonn Barnes, Fachtna Murphy told the tribunal he believed it would not be appropriate to release the material. It would, he claimed, almost inevitably prejudice the bureau's investigations. Mr Justice Flood responded by saying he would make an interim report on the matter to the Oireachtas. In the meantime, it has summoned Chief Supt. Murphy to attend the tribunal again tomorrow morning. However, its believed that in the High Court tomorrow, counsel for the CAB will seek a judicial review of the decision by Mr Justice Flood not to grant the CAB privilege in the matter.