Businessman Jim Kennedy “emphatically” denied ever giving money to ex-lobbyist Frank Dunlop, the Circuit Criminal Court has heard.
Mr Kennedy, aged 66, of Cormorant’s Quay, Gibraltar, is accused of giving £25,000 to Mr Dunlop in 1991 to bribe councillors for their vote to rezone land at Carrickmines in south Dublin from agricultural to industrial.
He has pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of making corrupt payments in the 1990s.
Sitting independent councillor for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Tony Fox, aged 72, of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, formerly a Fianna Fáil councillor, denies receiving money from Mr Dunlop.
Ex-councillors Colm McGrath, aged 56, of Swiftwood, Saggart; Donal Lydon, aged 74, of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue; and Liam Cosgrave, aged 57, of Merrion Park, Blackrock; have also pleaded not guilty to corruptly receiving cash bribes from Mr Dunlop to rezone the lands.
Det Garda Martin Harrington said Mr Kennedy was arrested in Oct 2010 and told gardaí he had never given Mr Dunlop money and did not know the councillors he was alleged to have bribed.
Det Garda Harrington told Sean Gillane, prosecuting, that Mr Kennedy said Mr Dunlop was a “self-confessed criminal” who had perjured himself at a tribunal and whose diaries had been investigated by the FBI.
Michael O’Higgins, for Mr Kennedy, focused on an alleged £2,000 payment by Mr Dunlop to Mr Cosgrave in Dec 1997.
The court heard Mr Dunlop told gardaí the payment had been ex gratia — made with no prior agreement or prior obligation.
The trial continues.
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