Two individuals charged under the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018.
A detective Garda and a director of a car sales firm have appeared before Limerick District Court charged with offences under the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018. The charges follow an investigation by Special Crime Operations into alleged Garda corruption in the Southern Region.
The charges against the Garda include an offence under section 7(2) of the 2018 Act. This stipulates that an Irish official, which includes members of the Garda Síochána, who uses confidential information obtained in the course of his employment for the purpose of corruptly obtaining a gift, consideration or advantage for himself or for any other person is guilty of an offence.
It is alleged that the Garda gave confidential information to his co-accused in relation to a Criminal Assets Bureau investigation into a company of which that individual was a director. For his part, the director is charged with corruptly giving or agreeing to give the gift, consideration, or advantage in question. Given the nature of the charges, the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that the Garda face trial on indictment.
The prosecutions are at an early stage and the accused are currently awaiting service of the State’s book of evidence.
Ultimately, the penalties for conviction on indictment can include an unlimited fine, up to ten years in prison, the forfeiture of any gift, consideration or advantage accepted or obtained in connection with the offence or, in the alternative, the forfeiture of land, cash or other property of an equivalent value as well as certain restrictions on future employment as an Irish official.
In a separate development, it was recently announced that a Garda Anti-Corruption Unit is to be established led by a Chief Superintendent whose role will include the development of policies, procedures and legislative provisions.