The financier Dermot Desmond has admitted giving Charles Haughey £125,000 in two separate payments. During evidence at the Moriarty Tribunal today, Mr Desmond said that in 1994 he said that Mr Haughey told him he was planning to take up a position as a non-executive director of a German bank, and Mr Desmond gave him £100,000. He also gave him £25,000 in 1996.
However, Mr Desmond said that he had little knowledge of an account in his firm NCB which appears to have been used solely for Mr Haughey's benefit. The account was set up by Des Traynor but Mr Desmond said that he never knew the beneficiary. The tribunal has established it was oversees nominees, in other words, Ansbacher Cayman Bank.
Even though NCB appears to have lodged money into this account for Mr Haughey, Dermot Desmond said that he does not know who gave them the money to make the lodgements. He said that he always dealt with Des Traynor and knows nothing else about the account.
Earlier, Jack Stakelum the man who ran Mr Haughey's bill-paying account for 6 years said that he never got paid for the service and did not offer such a service to any other clients. Mr Stakelum told the Tribunal how his company, B.E.L, was asked to take over Mr Haughey's bill paying service in 1991 from Deloitte and Touche. This was to give the then Taoiseach more privacy for his financial affairs.
Money to pay the bills came in bank drafts from Des Traynor. The service paid out over £2 million to cover bills during this time. When Mr Traynor died in 1994 Mr Stakelum was assured that the funds would continue. Mr Stakelum said that the service continued until he stopped getting funds sometime in 1997.
Mr Stakelum then told the Tribunal of how in 1994, following a request from Mr Haughey, he went to Dermot Desmond's offices to give him banking details of where to lodge a "donation" to Mr Haughey. Mr Stakelum said that they made small talk and Mr Desmond offered him some golf vouchers for Druid's Glen. Some days later £25,000 came into the bill-paying account, from Mr Desmond. Mr Stakelum said that there was no specific shortfall in the bill-paying account and he considered this a "general donation".
The Tribunal went through the details of how much money was going through this account under B.E.L. In all there was around £2 million pounds between the years 1991 and 1996. It was paying out an average of £300,000 a year to cover Mr Haughey's costs. Mr Haughey's driver would also collect envelopes of cash for household expenses each week. About every three months Mr Stakelum would meet Mr Haughey in Kinsealy. These meetings were always short, Mr Stakelum said that Mr Haughey had little interest in them.