Kennedy arrested as part of CAB probe

BUSINESSMAN Jim Kennedy was arrested by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) after he attended a court case involving an alleged €53 million “corrupt” land deal.

Kennedy, 63, left the country seven years ago but arrived back in the country for a High Court action. CAB is trying to recover funds from property company Jackson Way over alleged corrupt enrichment following the sale of 17 acres of farmland at Carrickmines in south Dublin. Kennedy and solicitor John Caldwell are the alleged beneficial owners of JWPL.

When Kennedy left court buildings he was followed by CAB officers and at 4.15pm he was arrested on Aaron Quay in Dublin city centre.

Garda sources said he was arrested on suspicion of bribery. The alleged offences date back to 1993.

Kennedy, who is thought to have been in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar for the past seven years, was arrested as part of a criminal probe by the CAB, investigating corrupt payments to public officials. This investigation is not directly connected to the civil case currently in the courts.

At the High Court earlier yesterday, Kennedy denied he gave £25,000 to former lobbyist Frank Dunlop to buy councillors’ votes for a rezoning in 1992.

Dunlop also attended the court where he is to give evidence on behalf of CAB in which he will say he used £25,000 given to him by Kennedy to lobby for the rezoning of the Carrickmines land, the court heard.

Dunlop, recently released from an 18-month prison sentence for corruption in relation to the Carrickmines rezoning, will also say he was promised a “success fee” of £100,000 if rezoning of the farmland to industrial use was obtained, the court also heard.

It took another five years, 1997, before the rezoning was obtained and by that stage, Kennedy had promised a £250,000 success fee — a claim Kennedy also denies.

Outlining CAB’s case, Diarmuid McGuinness said the value of the land increased to €6.6m when it was rezoned in 1997 and by 2005, just before CAB initiated its unjust enrichment proceedings against JWPL, it was estimated to be worth €53m. Today, it is worth an estimated €5.7m, counsel said.

CAB is claiming the total unjust enrichment by JWPL is around €10m.

Earlier, Mr McGuinness said the case is being brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act in which CAB is seeking a declaration that JWPL pay to the state the amount of corrupt enrichment as on the day of the court decision.

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