Three company directors have appeared at a preliminary inquiry at the magistrates court in Derry charged with offences linked to an alleged landfill tax evasion in excess of £40 million.
Paul Doherty (56), of Culmore Road, Derry, Gerard Martin Farmer (46), from Westlake in Derry, and Gerard O'Malley (46) of Ballintemple Road, Killeavy, Newry, also face charges relating to the alleged illegal dumping of industrial waste at two sites along the Mobuoy Road in the Campsie area of the city.
Mr Doherty faces 16 charges alleging he deposited and kept controlled waste and with keeping the waste in a manner likely to cause harm to human health or pollution of the environment. He is also charged with acquiring criminal property by failing to pay £30,887,640 in unpaid landfill tax, the alleged proceeds of the unlawful deposit and keeping of controlled waste at his company, Campsie Sand and Gravel at the Mobuoy Road. The company is also a named defendant in the case.
Mr Farmer faces four charges, one each of depositing, keeping and keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause harm to human health or pollution of the environment and one charge of acquiring criminal property, namely £10,928,960 in unpaid landfill tax. The company of which he is a director, City Industrial Waste Limited which is based in Mobuoy Road, is also a named defendant.
Mr O’Malley faces four charges, one each of depositing, keeping and keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause harm to human health or pollution of the environment. He faces a further charge of acquiring criminal property, namely £10,928,960 of unpaid landfill tax.
The three defendants are alleged to have committed the combined total of 42 offences on various date between April 2007 and August 2013.
During the preliminary inquiry hearing, each of the defendants replied “no” when asked if they had anything to say in answer to the charges.
Barristers for the three men and for the two companies accepted that their clients had a prima facie case to answer.
The defendants were returned to the crown court for their arraignment on the charges on a date to be fixed. They released on their own bail of £500. As part of their bail conditions, they must continue to reside at their home address.
Representatives from the prosecuting agency in the case, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, were in court for the hearing.