Civil servant claims gardaí never given document

Ryan says he passed witness statement to Minister

 Minister for Enterprise and Jobs Richard Bruton said at the weekend that “all allegations in this regard have been examined by the relevant authorities.” Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Minister for Enterprise and Jobs Richard Bruton said at the weekend that “all allegations in this regard have been examined by the relevant authorities.” Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

 

Politically the most explosive charge in the dossier outlining allegations of tax evasion against senior politicians is that a witness statement prepared by an official of the Department of Enterprise and Jobs was not passed on to the gardaí nearly two years after it was completed.

In the cover letter to his dossier, serving civil servant in the department Gerry Ryan, who several years earlier had been appointed an authorised officer under company law to investigate allegations of tax evasion, said he had been asked to prepare this witness statement at the request of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI) to assist in a possible prosecution.

He said that to the best of his knowledge the current Minister for Enterprise and Jobs Richard Bruton failed to forward the document to the gardaí “at any time in the period of almost two years since I submitted it to him”.

The dossier also contained a copy of a letter which Ryan wrote to Bruton on October 11th last year.

Underlined at the top of this letter was the heading referring to a “cover up and termination of investigation” into senior Fianna Fáil TDs’ and at least one prominent Fine Gael TD’s Ansbacher Accounts.

In the letter, Ryan said he had submitted the witness statement which had been sought by the bureau, to the Minister through a named assistant secretary, in the department on December 3rd, 2012.

He said he had requested that Bruton approve its disclosure to the gardaí in accordance with section 21 of the Companies Act 1990.

Ryan said the witness statement contained “substantial evidence” supporting allegations of conspiracy between a named individual and other persons to defraud the Revenue Commissioners in relations to Ansbacher accounts. Ryan said that the witness statement had been read and approved for release by a senior counsel.

Ryan complained that at that point it had been 10½ months since he had delivered the witness statement to Bruton and sought his approval for it to be disclosed to the gardaí.

‘Possible wrongdoing’

Cayman Islands

He also alleges that he sent two emails to Bruton in March 2011, shortly after he took office, and later that month sent a note by registered post to the Minister’s home in Dublin seeking a meeting to give him background information on the tax evasion issue. He said Bruton failed to acknowledge these requests.

“In both of these letters [of November 2012 and May 2013] I informed you that strong evidence of significant wrongdoing in relation to these secret Ansbacher accounts was uncovered in the course of my work during the period 2003 and 2004 and despite, this evidence being brought promptly to the attention of several of your predecessors, including Ms Mary Harney and Mr Micheál Martin, it has never been properly investigated and has remained unpublished and concealed from the public.”

“I also informed you that several parties have been made aware in detail of this strong evidence of wrongdoing and have chosen to ignore it, have failed to act upon it and/have taken no step to investigate it further or to cause the evidence to be made public.”

Ryan also contended that he had suggested to Bruton in his correspondence that the terms of reference of the Moriarty tribunal would have covered the issue of the politicians who allegedly had Ansbacher accounts.

Ryan said Bruton had ignored the evidence he had set out and recommendations he had put forward that the Minister should take action to have the matters further investigated. He contended that Bruton had shown a total lack of support for the prosecution of alleged wrongdoing and the publication of evidence relation to that possible wrongdoing.

“It is my view that the failure to forward the witness statement to the GBFI in an interference with the administration of justice, to which I do not wish to be a party.”

For his part, Mr Bruton pointed out at the weekend that “all allegations in this regard have been examined by the relevant authorities.”

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