People who held Red Flag USB in Rotterdam named

USB stick at centre of Denis O’Brien v Red Flag case held abroad despite court order

 

The two people named as having been in possession in the Netherlands of the USB memory stick at the centre of the Denis O’Brien versus Red Flag Consulting case in the High Court in Dublin are an importer and wholesale distributor of American cosmetics and a researcher with an online and telephone surveying company.

The two, Robin Smit and Dorottya Pintér, were identified as “R Smit” and “D Pinter” in a report by Martin Coyne, who describes himself as a director of a company named Digitpol. Coyne was asked to examine the USB stick by Eames Solicitors, who are acting in the case for O’Brien.

Coyne’s report to Eames, attached to an affidavit by Diarmuid Ó Comhain, a solicitor for Eames, was discussed in the High Court last Friday.

At the time that Smit and Pintér handled the USB stick in the Netherlands, it was the subject of a High Court order that it should be in the safekeeping of Eames Solicitors, whose offices are in Smithfield, Dublin.

On October 16th, 2015, Mr Justice Colm Mac Eochaidh directed that the stick should be given to Eames “forthwith”, “to hold until further order”, and that there should be “no interference with the memory stick at all by anybody”.

Creating a dossier

Red Flag sought access to the memory stick for digital forensic analysts they had retained. The same day, Eames Solicitors gave the stick to Coyne.

The following day, October 15th, it was taken out of the jurisdiction and brought to the Netherlands, according to Coyne, and it remained there until October 26th, despite the High Court order.

To date, no evidence has been given to the court detailing efforts made after the October 16th order was handed down to comply with it, prior to the stick being returned to Ireland on October 26th.

In the interim, it was kept in Rotterdam, according to Coyne, where it was handled by him, Smit and Pinter.

The Irish Times has established that Smit is Robin Smit of Rodia Cosmetics, trading as Rodia Products, and with an address at Kopspoor, Capelle Aan Den Ijssel, Zuid-holland.

Rodia describes itself as “the European distributor for the well-known American brand Sormé” cosmetics .

While there is no evidence on any readily accessible database to suggest Smit is a forensic digital analyst, Rodia’s website says the company also deals in automotive produkten, IT produtken, and beveiliging, the latter word being Dutch for “security”.

Smit did not respond this week to email requests for an interview and the telephone number for Rodia listed on the website was unanswered.

It has also been established Dorottya Pintér says she works for GDCC Rotterdam. GDCC stands for Global Data Collection Company and in her Linkedin entry, Pintér describes her work as involving “survey research preparation.”

Taekwon-Do

GDCC specialises in computer-assisted telephone interviewing. Pintér is fluent in Hungarian and has some English. In 2009, she was learning Dutch.

In her earlier life, Pintér studied physical education and sports sciences in Budapest. She worked there in a martial arts shop and is a former Hungarian sparring champion in Taekwon-Do.

There is no evidence on any readily accessible database to suggest Ms Pintér is a digital forensic analyst. She did not respond to interview requests.

In his report for Eames Solicitors, Martin Coyne described how the USB stick was held in a safe that could be accessed only by using an RFID (radio frequency identification) device for opening and shutting it, similar to a car key fob.

Permissions

An access log, given to the court as part Coyne’s report, showed he, R Smit and D Pinter opened and closed the safe, removing and replacing the USB memory stick, on 10 occasions between October 15th and October 26th.

The log was amended, however, in a second report by Coyne, submitted to the court attached to a new affidavit by Eames solicitor Diarmuid Ó Comhain. In this version Coyne’s name was replaced four times by that of “R Smit”.

The four occasions were on October 23rd and 24th, on which dates Coyne had actually been in Riga, Latvia, and therefore could not have been the person opening and closing the safe in Rotterdam, as stated in his first report. How the safe was accessed in his absence is not explained.

In other respects however, both reports are virtually identical, save for a change to the time of arrival of the stick on October 15th.

Immediately after the memory stick was taken from the safe, allegedly by Coyne, Smit and Pinter, Coyne’s report refers to “forensic experts” examining and discussing it. At no stage is anyone other than “R Smit”, “D Pinter” and “M Coyne” named in the context of the stick being removed from the safe for forensic examination.

Coyne, Smit and Pintér are linked on social media and business contact websites.

Pintér and Smit are associated, via Facebook, with John Mara, son of the late PJ Mara. Until Friday, Coyne was associated with John Mara via Linkedin, the business contact website. This week, following inquiries by The Irish Times, Coyne’s Facebook was deleted and access to Pinter’s was restricted. Coyne also closed his Linkedin account, thereby deleting endorsements he made to Mara’s account.

On Thursday, The Irish Times submitted a series of detailed questions to Eames Solicitors. They responded : “We do not comment on the subject matter of court proceedings.”