Kennedy falls ill in Garda custody

 

Businessman Jim Kennedy is still in hospital after complaining of feeling unwell while in Garda custody.

He was in custody at Irishtown Garda station at the time following his arrest in Dublin city centre yesterday. The 63-year-old can be held for up to 24 hours without charge, excluding rest periods.

Mr Kennedy was detained by detectives from the Criminal Assets Bureau on Arran Quay yesterday afternoon after emerging from the Four Courts, where he had attended the first day of proceedings by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) against his company, Jackson Way Properties.

Mr Kennedy, who has lived in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar over the past decade, is being questioned about alleged offences under corruption legislation updated by the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995. The alleged offence involves the payment of bribes to public officials. Cab alleges Jackson Way was unjustly enriched as a result of the rezoning of 17 acres of farmland it owns in Carrickmines.

The land has been frozen by the bureau since 2005. It contends the land is owned by Jackson Way and that the beneficial owners of the land are Mr Kennedy and solicitor John Caldwell.

Cab claims a €10 million increase in the value of the Carrickmines lands after rezoning was a direct result of “corrupt conduct in procuring the rezoning decision” and amounted to “corrupt enrichment” of Jackson Way under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996.

The 17 acres were rezoned from agricultural to industrial by 13 votes to 11 at a meeting of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in 1997.

Lobbyist and former government press secretary Frank Dunlop has served a prison sentence for his role in bribing councillors. Mr Dunlop is to give evidence for Cab in the High Court case which started yesterday.

Lawyers for the bureau told the court he would say he used £25,000 given to him by Mr Kennedy to lobby for the rezoning and that he was promised a “success fee” of £100,000 if rezoning was obtained.