In March 2009, Mr Justice Liam McKechnie awarded all the defendants in the Mayo waste case their costs following their acquittal by a jury on all counts of bid rigging in July 2009. Awarding defendants their costs is an unusual move in a criminal case. The trial had heard that Mayo County Council had put its €1.2 million annual loss making refuse collection service (including a database of 14,000 customers) out to tender in 2005. The defendants (3 waste companies and certain of their directors) jointly submitted a bid. Following an investigation by the Competition Authority, the DPP charged the defendants in connection with alleged bid rigging offences. A retired Mayo County Council official was charged with aiding and abetting the alleged cartel. The defendants argued that they realised that no one private operator could individually win the tender leading them to submit a joint bid. All defendants were unanimously acquitted by a jury on all counts. The costs will be paid by the Director of Public Prosecutions (subject to appeal).
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Costs awarded to acquitted defendants in Mayo waste cartel case
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