New evidence is available to overturn the corruption convictions of former Dublin Assistant City and Council Manager George Redmond, lawyers claimed today.
Redmond’s legal team argued complete bank records from the late 1980s would now cast doubt on the former planning official’s guilt.
The 80-year-old was found guilty of receiving a IR£10,000 bribe from garage owner Brendan Fassnidge relating to the sale of a right of way by Dublin County Council near the Lucan bypass in the last 1980s.
Lawyer Brendan Grehan SC told the Court of Criminal Appeal that Redmond’s conviction could be appealed for three reasons and he was also seeking to introduce bank statements.
He said the original trial should have been halted because Redmond had been denigrated, and gained so much notoriety in the media that no lay person could come to court with an open mind.
Mr Grehan added the warning the trial judge had given to the jury was inadequate and that Redmond had acquired a generalised reputation for corruption on a grand scale.
He also claimed the introduction into evidence of a statement made by Redmond that he had received a cheque for IR£5,000 was involuntary.
The three appeal court judges adjourned until tomorrow to consider the new evidence before making a decision on whether or not to grant the appeal.
Patrick McCarthy SC, opposing the appeal, said Redmond’s legal team had made a tactical decision not to call for the full bank records to be introduced at the time of the original trial.
Mr McCarthy said on that basis the appeal should be denied, and claimed counsel should have called for a retrial.
“That is the remedy applied by law so that the slate is washed clean,” he said.
“A trial is an organic process, everything is not perfect, things go wrong, disclosure is not made, witnesses say things. The remedy is to have a fresh trial.”
Redmond also faces two further corruption charges, but it is not yet clear whether the DPP intends to proceed with these.
Redmond was also denied legal aid to fund his legal battle against the corruption convictions.
The 80-year-old, who has been in Cloverhill Prison since last December, claims he was in debt to the tune of €150,000 after a family member paid a number of legal bills for him.
He also told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin both he and his wife were forced to live off a pension of around €1,500 per fortnight.
The court heard however, that Redmond had in the region of €40,000 in savings.
The Mahon tribunal’s third interim report, published earlier this year, identified Mr Redmond as having received a number of corrupt payments and that he had hindered and obstructed its work.
The Mahon Tribunal is examining allegations of corruption in planning issues in and around Dublin.
It is expected to run a further 11 years.