An application has been made at Clonmel Circuit court to have a trial involving Michael Lowry, who is accused of filing incorrect tax returns, to be moved to Dublin because of fears a jury in Tipperary may be biased.
The Tipperary North TD’s legal team claims the case against him is tainted with illegalities.
Mr Lowry of Glenbeigh, Holycross, Co Tipperary, is due to stand trial in the autumn on a number of charges alleging he filed incorrect tax returns in 2003 and 2007 which he denies.
Clonmel Circuit Court heard yesterday Mr Lowry had consistently got between one quarter and one third of the vote every time he was elected, and that a great number of voters in North Tipperary would have voted for him.
The State claims it would be a manifest injustice to have the trial in Tipperary.
Mr Lowry’s legal team claims he has no liability for the alleged tax due and that this is backed up by two sets of expert accountants. They also say the monies which are the subject of the charges, are also the subject of an appeal to the Revenue Commissioners.
They say he has been the subject of considerable and prejudicial media coverage in the national media, in particular the Sunday Independent, which, they claim, has conducted a savage and systematic campaign of vilification against him.
His defence team is seeking a root and branch discovery in relation to the Sunday Independent and other parties, in order to show this campaign to the court.
They also say the private financial affairs of Mr Lowry and a series of raids at his home and offices were leaked to the media, and that a senior officer of the CAB is now investigating matters related to those raids.
Judge Tom Teehan will give his decision on the submissions before him on October 2.
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