Kennedy will not meet with tribunal

BUSINESSMAN James Kennedy, who is named as one of the owners of the Jackson Way property company, has told the Flood Tribunal he will not meet with its investigators or attend hearings.

In a letter sent through his solicitors last month he told the tribunal the allegations made against him "do not dignify a response" and that it has no powers to compel him to respond.

The reclusive investor who ran gaming arcades and other commercial ventures in Ireland says he is now living in Gibraltar and has renounced his Irish nationality.

He also says he is suffering from ill-health and is concerned to protect his privacy and his family.

Mr Kennedy is named by Frank Dunlop as one of three people behind Jackson Way and the lands held by the company but he insists he has no beneficial interest in the lands and the matters being investigated by the tribunal are not applicable to him.

Tribunal counsel John Gallagher SC told the inquiry yesterday that despite issuing a witness summons to Mr Kennedy and pointing out the penalties for failure to comply with such an order, it now appeared he did not intend to appear.

But Mr Gallagher said another named owner of Jackson Way, retired solicitor James Caldwell, who adopted a similar stance to Mr Kennedy when the tribunal first contacted him more than two years ago, had since written through his solicitors to express regret.

Mr Caldwell's knowledge of Jackson Way Properties and its predecessor, Paisley Park Investments, is crucial to the tribunal because of his understanding of the many disparate and widely dispersed holding companies used to protect their interests from 1988 to the present time.

The tribunal heard that Mr Kennedy had used companies registered in Panama, Liberia and other countries in his business dealings and relied on a myriad of trusts and nominees to safeguard his investments.

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