Independent TD Michael Lowry will have to pay his own legal costs after he was added to a court case taken by a company that alleged he took corrupt payments when he was a government minister.
The State and businessman Denis O’Brien, who were also part of the case, were awarded costs following a hearing at the High Court yesterday.
Persona Digital Telephony had claimed Mr O’Brien’s Esat Digifone consortium won a competition for a mobile phone licence in 1996 by bribing the then communications minister, Mr Lowry — which is denied.
The company’s director, James Anthony Boyle, said he was unable to pay for the court case and wanted an English company to foot the bill. However, after several days of hearings at the High Court earlier this year, Justice Aileen Donnelly refused to allow the third-party funding arrangement.
Yesterday, she made an order regarding the costs of the hearings that have taken place so far. She said Mr O’Brien was entitled to his costs because he is a defendant in the case and had been added on by the High Court.
She also awarded costs to the State but said Mr Lowry’s position was not the same as Mr O’Brien’s.
Mr Lowry was not a defendant in the case taken by Persona but was added as a third party by the State. She said his involvement in the hearings was not necessary and therefore he is not entitled to have his costs paid.
Justice Donnelly placed a stay on the award of costs to allow an appeal to be lodged by the plaintiff.
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